As part of our Ducks Summer Q&A series, we’re catching up with several players to see how their offseasons are going, their outlooks for this coming season and more. Next up: Ducks defenseman Josh Manson.
You’ve been a traveling man this offseason. How was Italy?
It’s so nice over there. We [he and wife Julie] went there two years ago for Cogs’ [Andrew Cogliano’s] wedding, and we just fell in love with it. We always wanted to go back. We figured things are only going to get busier as life goes on. We went to Florence, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. That was our first time in Florence and Tuscany. We’ve been to the Amalfi Coast before, and we knew we wanted to go back. Florence was nice, but Tuscany was amazing. We were there 11 nights.
Are you staying local for the most of the summer?
We want to stay here for most of the summer, but we also enjoy going back to Canada. The only thing with Canada is it makes it a little tougher to train. We’re trying to find a good balance, but we we’re finding ourselves in California more than anywhere else.
Where in Canada did you go?
We went home to Saskatchewan – Christopher Lake, specifically – for 10 days. Not super long.
Did you do any fishing while you were there?
You know what, we fished only once. It was a short little trip out, and we didn’t even catch anything. We went too late at night. I wish we would’ve [had more luck], but we just wanted to relax. Sometimes to get out fishing, you need to haul the boat, and it’s a little bit more of a process than you want to do.
Any more trips planned before summer ends?
Nope. No more plans. Cam [Fowler] is getting married, but that’s it. We’ll go to that. Other than that, it’s just skating and going to the rink every day and working out. Just preparing for the season. The final prep.
At what point in the summer do you usually ramp up your offseason training?
On-ice work is August, usually the end of July but we went on that trip. All of August I’ll skate and start prepping for the season. Of course you have the two weeks before training camp, but you want to be ready to go by camp. For training, I start shortly after the season is done. Usually just little things, just getting back into the gym. No heavy lifting. Just getting back into the swing of things. After about a month or so, I’ll start lifting. I usually play it by ear. However my body is feeling is how I go about it. You know to do what your body tells you to do.
Did you change anything up this time around?
I did a lot of work on previous injuries I’ve had. I did a lot of work with a trainer and my strength guy to try to dial those back in. I was trying to loosen everything up again and re-strengthen the right muscles. That was a big chunk of the summer, and I think that’s something I’m going to carry out throughout the entire year.
There has been some change with the club this offseason, notably the hiring of Dallas Eakins as head coach. Did he reach out to you?
He reached out to me, and we went out and got breakfast. We spoke about everything. I never had a chance to play for Dallas in the American Hockey League. The year he came in was the year I ended up making the Ducks. I’ve seen him in passing and I’ve talked to him a little bit. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things from all the guys that have played for him in San Diego.
What impression did you get after sitting down with him?
Having a chance to chat with him 1-on-1, you can see why everybody says such great things about him. He’s a very true, well-put together person. He’s very down to earth. He wants a personal connection with you to get the best out of you. He wants to know about you. He’s very honest. He tells you exactly what he expects and how he’s going to go about things. He says there’s no hard conversations when all your conversations are very honest. It’s something you respect. He knows how to get the most out of his players. Respecting them and gaining their respect back. It was a short conversation, but even in that short time, I can tell I already have a lot of respect for him as a person. I’m excited for what he’s going to bring to our team.
What excites you about the upcoming season?
Every year you’re excited because you want to make the playoffs. Missing the playoffs last season was pretty devastating for our whole team and organization. Playoffs are something you come to expect, and when you expect to win, it changes your mentality. Having Dallas here, and the young guys – whoever is going to be on the team – it gets you excited for that opportunity again for the challenge. You think about a lot of things in the offseason, the moves that are made. I’m extremely excited about the moves we made, and the opportunity we’re going to have.