If you’ve ever wondered what a day is like for a professional hockey player, I may have some answers for you.
With some time before the Hawks' schedule heats up again, I was able to get a glimpse into the routine of Hawks forward Dustin Byfuglien.
I arrived at his house in Chicago, just before 9 a.m. on Friday, and a groggy Byfuglien answered the door declining an offer of coffee.
“I’ve never needed that stuff,” Byfuglien said.
Byfuglien lives in a non-descript, but nice, neighborhood in the city. He could be your neighbor. He says he likes where he lives and it's just close enough to work that he doesn’t have to worry about being late. He’s about 15 minutes from the United Center, depending on his daily route.
As we jumped into his Escalade, a few minutes after 9 a.m., he told me he was ready to get back to work, but did enjoy his week in Aruba. Like his teammates, he admitted to needing to “shake off the rust” after little activity for nine or 10 days.
On the ride over, Byfuglien touched on the upcoming playoffs, the Olympics, trade talk, and his good natured “distaste” of all things Canadian. He says he got over not making the U.S. Olympic team pretty quick and is hopeful they can bring home gold, if for no other reason than to have bragging rights over most of his teammates. He and Adam Burish are relishing the thought.
We arrived at the United Center at about 9:20 a.m. The Hawks have to change into their hockey gear there and then head to their new practice facility down the street. The dressing room isn’t quite finished.
After an hour or so practice, there’s some weight lifting and by 1 p.m., their day is over.
On this day, Byfuglien grabbed lunch and then it was to his couch for the U.S./Finland Semi-final contest. They’ll be a nap and then a nice dinner before it all starts again tomorrow. He admits "it’s not a bad life."
Not bad at all.
Click on the video above to watch my ride with Byfuglien to practice.