Junior players find their own way to enjoy time on the road
More options available than playing cards, watching movie or staring out the window
Saint John Sea Dogs captain Anthony Boucher has travelled from arena to arena in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League long enough to realize how important it is to make good use of time spent on the team bus.
The 20-year-old forward, who’s in his fourth season in the league, and his Sea Dogs will travel more than 18,000 kilometres this season on the roads, making a stop in all 18 QMJHL cities at least once to play a total of 34 away games.
At times it can feel long, but it doesn’t have to be wasted time.
“I’m getting used to it, for me now a three-hour bus ride is a short trip,” Boucher said. “I’ve been learning to use the time to my advantage, working on school stuff (he’s taking CEGEP, pre-university courses), reading, sleeping, some recovery.”
“He just plows through homework and it sets the tone with the younger guys,” added Sea Dogs general manager Trevor Georgie.
Saint John will have two road trips through Quebec this season, a six-game stroll in November at 2,700 kilometres, and a five-game trip in January at 3,500 kilometres — including a 1,700kilometre drive from RouynNoranda, Que., back home.
The players are typically allowed to do their own thing on the Sea Dogs bus, with most choosing to chat or listen to music. Technology has led to many more options than simply playing cards, watching a film or staring out the window into the night.
Boucher believes his education is a top priority and is often studying on the road, with his laptop, wifi and data supplied by the team to help him obtain his school goals. Read more on how players handle their time on the bus at thestar.com/hockey
Saint John Sea Dogs captain Anthony Boucher uses his time on the road to do homework for his pre-university courses and give his body a chance to recover.