You’re heading into your fourth straight season with the Wolves. How does it feel to be back?
Well, last season really didn’t end the way I wanted it to. This team is focused on winning championships and being the best and we didn’t get where we wanted to. That was disappointing, but I’m looking forward to getting after it again this season and hopefully seeing a different result.
How would you assess last season for you personally?
It was a weird year all around, what with the lockout and everything. Going into the season I wasn’t sure what kind of playing time I was going to get or if the NHL guys would be taking most of the ice time. I was focused on proving myself and trying to improve my game. Even though my stats weren’t really there I feel like I played pretty well.
What has your offseason routine looked like so far?
Right after our last game in April I went back home to Michigan for about a month, saw some friends and relaxed. I tried to recharge a little after the grind of the year. But I’ve been back in Chicago working with some of our coaches and helping out at the skills camps. Collaboration is really good and working with other players at this level is a really helpful thing and makes me better. The last couple of summers I was running a lot more and doing more cardio, but I have been on the ice more and outside less.
How’s your health?
I broke my rib at the end of last season and I still feel that a little bit, but it will be 100 percent by the time we get going. Other than that, everything feels great.
The Wolves recently announced head coach John Anderson is returning. What was your reaction to that?
I had never met him before the press conference (on July 16) but I have heard he was a great player and is a great coach now. He doesn’t shy away from telling players what they need to improve on and that’s a good thing. I also hear he’s an offensive-minded coach so it will be really good working with him.
It will be a different environment in the locker room this season with the team’s new affiliate. Excited?
For sure. There are some guys from the past few years coming back who I’m looking forward to playing with again. (Goaltender) Matt Climie was my roommate last year and he’ll be here again. So the familiar faces are nice but bringing in new guys creates a lot of competition and it’s a new challenge for all of us. It’s good stuff.