Holiday plansBy: Mitch Peacock | Published: December 21st 2015
The Manitoba Moose have one last assignment before they can take some time with family and friends this holiday season.
The Moose play the Wolves in Chicago tonight to close out at two-game road trip, and the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule.
After the game, the team is off until it returns to practice December 30th in preparation for its New Year’s Eve game against the Iowa Wild.
So what does taking a break mean for the players?
Well, for many it has one major factor in common with their day-to-day life as a professional athlete – travel.
Immediately following Monday’s game against Chicago nine players will take the team flight back to Winnipeg, while the rest will disperse to catch up with loved ones directly from the Windy City.
In all, five players will spend the festive season in Winnipeg; including hometown boys Peter Stoykewych and Kelly Zajac.
As for the rest? They’re spread far-and-wide.
Jiri Fronk and Jan Kostalek win the prize for covering the most ground.
The two rookies are heading all the way to the Czech Republic, but they’re not complaining it’s nice just to get a break with life in the American Hockey League typically so hectic.
Meanwhile, the rest get to celebrate the season at various spots in Canada and the United States.
Two players are lucky enough to combine family with a California Christmas.
Eric Comrie and Chase De Leo are off to re-charge with their loved ones in Newport and La Mirada, CA respectively.
Safe to say shoveling snow and skating on the outdoor rink aren’t in their plans!
Which reminds me, even though the players are stepping aside from the rigours of the AHL, they know they’ve got to come back to Winnipeg ready to pick up where they left off.
So, each player will have skates with them when they leave and clear instructions from strength-and-conditioning coach Jake Wolff as to what they need to do to maintain their fitness.
Which means at a time when many are thinking about a New Year’s resolution to shape up, they will be taking care of themselves so they can continue to chase their NHL dream.
That said, with all that training they might just be able to work of a few sweets and an extra helping of mom’s cooking a little easier than most.
You can listen LIVE to the final game before the break on moosehockey.com starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm
The Moose back on home ice New Year’s Eve when they host the Iowa Wild in a 4pm start, visit moosehockey.com/tickets or any Ticketmaster location to get your ticket to the action.