“Coming back to the same team is always nice. It’s something I haven’t done in the last few years," he said. "It’s always exciting to start a new year and getting back together with the guys, being in the locker room every day and having that camaraderie.”
The summer break suited him well as he managed to escape the rainy Michigan weather with his wife in Aruba. Admittedly, there are some advantages to only working during the winter, but like any true hockey player, Hutchinson could only stay away for so long.
“Summer is always nice because you can relax, but when you play hockey for a living you want to get back to that schedule. Coming back to the rink and being around the guys is always great. We’ve got great relationships and you miss that as the summer goes along.”
The off-season is never just a vacation as players know they must hit the ground running on the first day of training camp. During the offseason, players regularly take part in weight-lifting and cardio-vascular programs.
“Staying in shape is really a year round thing. I think everybody works out whether through the team program, a trainer or on their own. You might take three weeks after the end of the season but then guys are right back in there working out.”
As for Hutchinson, he began skating in July “just to get the familiarity again before September." Players feel added pressure to make good first impressions in front of the Stars new management and coaching staff.
“It’s just about getting to know their styles and how they want the team to play. It’s nice coming back and knowing the guys in the locker room because we’re all going through the same thing, adjusting to the systems and coaching style. We really have to learn these new systems in three days because we have a game right away.”
The Stars take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first exhibition game on Wednesday, September 16th at American Airlines Center at 7:30 pm.