On a scale of 1-10, Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos says Gary Roberts, as a trainer, is a 9.5
We all knew Steven Stamkos was a dedicated athlete. We saw it last season, when rather than sitting and sulking through his scratches, he used the time to work out and study the game. The result, was a terrific second half that legitimized the No. 1 overall draft pick the Tampa Bay Lightning used to get him.
With that in mind, it was almost expected to hear Stamkos tell the story of how he left immediately to get home after playing in teammate Mike Smith's charity golf tournament over the summer because he didn't want to miss a workout. Stamkos already had stayed with Smith the night prior to the tournament. But instead of hanging out after, Stamkos drove home so he would not miss a workout with former teammate Gary Roberts.
"I knew if I stayed, I wouldn't have gotten much sleep," Stamkos said.
Stamkos, 19, and Roberts, 43, are close, and Stamkos lives about 25 minutes away from Roberts' home in Uxbridge, Ontario, which is where Stamkos spent his summer working out in Roberts' personal gym, which Stamkos called "beautiful."
"Gary was there doing the workouts with me, pushing me, making sure I did it properly," Stamkos said. "It was great. I think I spent more time at his house than I did at my own."
Asked how tough Roberts is as a trainer, Stamkos smiled and said, "it had to be a nine or a nine and a half."
Stamkos said his workout was developed by Roberts' personal trainer, and every few weeks, the trainer would show up at Roberts' place to evaluate Stamkos' progress.
Stamkos, who finished last season with 23 goals, a team rookie record, said he can't wait to see how the results translate to the ice.
"Personally, I'm really excited to get things going," he said. "We really have something to prove this year."