Captain’s Ice, the unofficial, drop-in style scrimmages that some of the players participate in, began this past week in San Jose. For some players, these optional skates are a key step in preparing their bodies for the upcoming season.
“Most guys are in shape right now coming into San Jose,” said defenseman Kyle McLaren. “We’re just trying to get our legs underneath us and making sure we’re ready to go before the season starts. Our mindset coming into training camp is to have a solid camp, pick right back up where we left off and start this season on a roll.”
While each player has their own individual training routine in the offseason, a handful of players each year make their way out to the Bay Area to skate at Captain’s Ice. Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo is back in San Jose nearly a month earlier that in years past and is taking every advantage of being in town.
“I usually skate at home until early September, then come down and skate with the guys,” said Cheechoo. “I’m out here in San Jose about a month earlier than usual though to take care of a few things.”
Like McLaren, Cheechoo mainly focused on getting the feel back and is excited about the new season.
“We’re always excited to start the year and our goal never changes,” Cheechoo said. “It’s always to win the Stanley cup. I think it’s exciting because it’s a new year and a new chance to do that.”
Center Mark Smith had a busy offseason focusing primarily on his emerging music career with his band The Talking Trees. Smith and his band embarked on a multi-city tour in western Canada, playing shows in several cities including his hometown of Edmonton. Although he continues to tour with his band, now around Northern California, he was among those players skating at Captain’s Ice earlier this week.
“It feels like it’s been a couple of years not of a couple of months,” said Smith, hinting that he was a little rusty. “But that’s how it always feels the first couple days. Get the kinks out, get the body back into the groove and start working out a bit.”
As for Captain Patrick Marleau
, he is becoming a seasoned veteran at Captain’s Ice. At a ripe age of 26, Marleau has become accustomed to running the unofficial and optional skates. Like the other players at Captain’s Ice, Marleau is getting back to the basics, working on fundamentals and keeping things light.
“We’re out there having a little bit of fun and try and get into skating shape at the same time,” said Marleau. “I’m just trying to get my legs used to skating again and slowly get the hands back into it.”
With the regular season still seven weeks away, the players have plenty of time to get back into the swing of things. For the players that could attend, Captain’s Ice was certainly a step in the right direction.
For more updates on Team Teal, go to the News section available at www.sjsharks.com.