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CATCHING UP WITH PETER LEBLANC

09/07/2012 10:15 AM - IceHogs.com caught up with Center Peter LeBlanc to see how his offseason has been going and to get his take on the upcoming season.

Have you gone on vacation anywhere?

Me and my brothers go up to Peterborough, Ontario for a week for a nice fishing trip. I did some water skiing, fishing and that was it.

Were you back home in Hamilton, Ontario? What’s the best part of being back home?
Yeah, I rented a place in Hamilton this year. The best part of being back home is getting to see all my buddies again. I graduated high school in Hamilton so I have a ton of buddies that live around here in the summer, and all the guys that go away and play hockey come back home for the summer, so I would say that. Then, obviously all my family lives in Hamilton as well, so I get to come home and spend a lot of time with my family.

Former IceHogs winger Kyle Hagel signed in Hamilton during the offseason, have you ran into him at all?
Yeah, I talked to him a little bit. He is back in Hamilton right now and was excited

What kind of off-season training are you doing? How often are you on the ice?
I drive about 35 minutes away to Mississauga, Ontario, from Monday through Friday, and do a lot of speed work and explosive work. Then, I play in a game on Sunday. I play with all the guys from Toronto, all the pro guys in the area and all the guys that go to the gym. We just have a best-of-nine series every Sunday.

You’re coming off a great season in which you set career-high marks in goals (24) and points (44), what are your personal goals for this season?
I want to continue to contribute offensively. I want to be the guy that helps kill penalties and takes face offs. I want to be very consistent and I think we have to make a better push for the playoffs at the beginning. We made a real good push at the end but I think one of the goals, and I think everyone is on board, is to have a good start and make the playoffs.

What are you most excited for next season?
To see the guys again. I think the whole group of guys got along really well. So, I’m excited to see them and I think we have a really good team this year. I think I’m most excited this year to make a good playoff run. I was home mid-April this year, so hopefully this year we can make a good run and cut the summer a bit short.

What is one of the most difficult aspects of the offseason - something that you dread each year?
Listening to my dad tell me to get a haircut every day is probably the thing I dread the most.

Did you watch the Summer Olympics? What was your favorite sport to watch?
Yeah, the girls beach volleyball was probably my favorite thing to watch. I thought their skill level was pretty good.

Football started this week, do you follow the NFL at all and if so, who’s your team?
I don’t follow too closely, but I would have to say the Buffalo Bills. I did watch the game the other night (Wednesday) with some of my buddies. I’m not a huge Sunday football guy, I’d rather catch the highlights.

Now for something a little different. What’s the first thing that comes to mind…
Ice Cream? Cold
October? Hockey
Twitter? Don’t have it
Celebrity? Pam Anderson
Carter Hutton? Beauty

The lines of communication were opened to fans via Twitter (@goicehogs) and Facebook (/RockfordIceHogs) as we chose one question submitted by an IceHog fan.

How did you feel when you signed your first NHL deal with the Blackhawks following last season? –From Trisha Z.
It was something that I worked for the entire year. I definitely felt a sense of relief and it also motivated me for the summer so I could really get into training, getting better, and getting ready for camp and take it to the next level.