Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/11/13 at 10:39 AM ET
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
As the Canucks’ player development defence co-ordinator, Dave Babych has seen up close how well-trained and super-fit the young players are, coming into the NHL organization.
“Now, the young kids I’m working with, they have access to all of our personnel, trainers, dietitians, sleep doctors,” he said. “It’s about putting the right development team together, so it’s a well-rounded situation.”
It’s a little different from Babych’s day, when training camp was just that — a period of time for players to get back into shape from a summer that, well, wasn’t so much dedicated to the gym.
Babych, 52, was an outstanding junior player and was drafted No. 2 overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1980. He remembers feeling that he had to come to camp that September in the best possible physical condition to show the Jets they’d made the right choice. So he trained extra hard that summer, but was a little surprised on his first day of camp in Winnipeg.
“There were two practices a day and they were basically just a torture test for the first week,” said Babych, who went on to play 1,195 NHL games, scoring 793 points.
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