Everyone’s having an NHL Summer

Leo Komarov has been having NHL summers since they were KHL summers.

Possibly the biggest PR Buzzword for the Leafs organization this season, after the tank wrapped up and they were able to throw away “pain”, was “NHL summer”. Tobias Lindberg wants to make the NHL? He needs to have an NHL summer. William Nylander and Mitch Marner want to secure their spots for next year? They need NHL summers. Nazem Kadri wants to be a first line player? You better believe he needs an NHL summer.

Apparently, the team is listening.


A video posted by Nikita Soshnikov (@nikitasoshnikov90) on

That’s Nikita Soshnikov, ripping his trademark wrist shot into a beat up EZGoal in the back parking lot of some random building. He looks like a man having an NHL summer.

That’s Auston Matthews, who is already better built and more skilled than just about every teenaged hockey player on this planet. Is the still at home? Heck no, he’s already hitting the suburban Toronto rinks, doing NHL summer things at Vaughan Sports Village.

Medicine ball volleyball to close out the #workout @discostew94 won this battle but he won’t win the war.

A video posted by Rich Clune (@richclune) on

Rich Clune? He doesn’t even have an NHL contract for this year, and he’s definitely older than all of these kids that the term was coined for. But you better believe he’s having an NHL summer, though his Instagram seems to imply that the end goal is to become Batman, who I don’t believe was ever an NHLer.


A video posted by William Nylander (@williamnylander) on

William Nylander? This is his second NHL summer. At this point, we might need to stop calling it an NHL summer, and start calling it a preparation to singlehandedly fight (and win) World War 3. The kid is approaching 200 pounds of muscle now, which is absurd to think about after he was drafted with a boy band member’s physique.

Brooks Laich? You better believe he’s having a summer. He’s been in the NHL for ages, and has absolutely no reason to have an NHL summer, but if he’s doing it, it reminds the kids to join in.

Connor Carrick? Led the AHL playoffs in scoring, has a new contract, and the Leafs need right-handed defencemen. But he’s still having an NHL summer.


A video posted by Nazem Kadri (@43kadri) on

Nazem Kadri? I’m not quite sure what he’s doing here, but it looks like an NHL summer to me.

@peterholland13 putting in some hard work this morning at #Milo #Athletics on the rower. #OffSeason #TrainMilo #hockey #NHL

A video posted by MILO Athletics (@miloathletics) on

Peter Holland? Started his summer in the spring.

Connor Brown? Any doubt that his ankle wasn’t back to 100% can be thrown away with that much weight being placed on it.


A video posted by Tobias Lindberg (@lindberg7) on

Tobias Lindberg? Even his off days are NHL summer days.

Honoured to be a part of this great foundation this past weekend! #Prusty4kids

A photo posted by Mitch Marner (@marner_93) on

Mitch Marner? Uhh… that doesn’t look very NHL summer-y, but it’s a great cause, so he gets a pass. Still, we need something to make us feel better.

Ah, that’s the good stuff.

Anyway, I’m no sports scientist, so I don’t know if being able to punch a wall through another wall is going to help these Leafs players win the Stanley Cup anytime soon. But if nothing else, the fact that so many of them are so publicly showing their commitment to physically improving as management wants them to, if nothing else, shows a level of buy-in to the team’s on and off-ice plans. Maybe it means more than we think, even if I’m pretty guys like the big three rookies could rack up points while missing limbs, let alone having them be re-enforced.