MONTREAL – He may be used to the spotlight in Montreal, but Alex Galchenyuk has enjoyed his summer transition from hockey star to sports fan.
After a promising first year in the NHL that saw Galchenyuk break into the league at age 18, impress fans with his maturity and poise on the ice and help the Canadiens bounce back to claim a Northeast Division title, there’s little question that he earned himself some downtime this summer.
Aside from employing the usual grueling offseason workout routine in preparation for his sophomore season as a Hab, Galchenyuk still made sure to make the most time off, filling his days with family, travel and cheering on his own sporting heroes.
“I took a trip to Miami to watch a Miami Heat playoff game, which was a lot of fun,” shared Galchenyuk, during an appearance at the Canadiens hockey school in Brossard.
Despite his budding superstar status, the 19-year-old winger still went about getting his highly-coveted Heat tickets like everyone else – with a largely frustrating visit to StubHub.
“Trying to buy tickets for the game was crazy. It’s amazing how the price can go so high up and then so far down from one minute to the next. I was about to buy my tickets when the site kicked me off for some reason and when I went back on, they had already gotten a lot more expensive,” he laughed. “Then I waited just a few more minutes and tried again, and for some reason they had gone back down! It was like a yoyo.”
The Canadiens’ third-overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft didn’t just enjoy the ball game; he also got to do some star-gazing while watching the Heat hit the court.
“The game was great and I ended up sitting pretty close to Floyd Mayweather, which was cool. I had just seen a picture he had posted on Twitter a few days before where he was showing off his unbelievably expensive watch collection, trying to decide which one to wear. I’m pretty sure he had one on at the game,” said Galchenyuk, who made the most of his time in Florida before continuing his summer travels going with a hop across the pond. “I spent a few days in Miami while I was down for the game and then I went back to Belarus for a little while to visit with my family.”
For anyone who follows Galchenyuk on Twitter, it’s easy to see that the talented winger is also a keen MMA fan. It’s not uncommon for his account to be filled with fight commentary on nights when UFC pay-per-views hit the airwaves, so it’s little surprise he made sure to catch as many live televised events as possible while he wasn’t lacing up the skates on Saturday nights.
“I’m a fan of the UFC and there were a few really good events this summer, so I’ve been watching those,” dropped Galchenyuk, stopping to shake his head as he recalled one of the biggest upsets of the summer. “I still can’t believe Anderson Silva lost his belt…”
Summing up the moment nicely in a single word, Galchenyuk simply tweeted, “Oops…” seconds after the middleweight champ of the past seven years got knocked out and fell to the mat.
Now, with the Habs’ training camp set to kick off in just over a month, Galchenyuk is hard at work again prepping for his second NHL campaign, eagerly looking forward to making the transition from spectator back to suiting up for action on game days.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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