Once the 2017-18 season concluded, each Barracuda player returned to his hometown or offseason hangout. For Barracuda forward Tim Clifton, San Jose became home this summer. SJBarracuda.com caught up with the soon to be sophomore to see how his summer has gone and what he's hoping to accomplish in his second pro season.
You spent the summer here in San Jose, how have you enjoyed getting used to the area?
It’s been great. Staying this summer definitely helped get myself accustomed to the surroundings and what’s going on in the area. I actually have an uncle who lives in LA, so I have some family in California, which helps because I’m living so far away. But it has definitely been great being here!
What area of your game did you want to improve the most this summer?
Would it be wrong to say everything? I wanted to work on every aspect of my game this summer. But definitely get a little stronger on the puck and improve my speed so I can get to loose pucks faster. Improving my speed will help me in all areas of my game.
What was the biggest difference between college and your first season of pro hockey in the AHL?
The biggest adjustment was speed and the style of play. In college at Quinnipiac, we were run-and-gun, go, go, go, all the time. But also the most significant difference is the players. They’re all individually better, and puck possession was one of the biggest differences between the two.
What has been the coolest thing you’ve been able to do since you’ve lived in the Bay Area?
My girlfriend and I have been to Santa Cruz a couple of times, that’s a beautiful place. We go to San Francisco a lot, there’s a ton to do there. You can never get bored in SF; it’s a great spot.
What do you like to do when you’re in Santa Cruz?
Santa Cruz is great because it has the dog beach. We recently rescued a puppy a couple months back, so we like to go there and let the dog run which he loves and we love.
What type of dog is it and what’s your dogs name?
The dog's name is Nash and to be honest, we don’t know what he is. He’s a mutt, we rescued him, and no one really knows. The most we’ve heard is he's part Boxer.
Have you found a restaurant in San Jose that has become a favorite of yours?
I’ve found a couple but my favorite restaurant has got to be Henry’s High-Life, it’s actually near the SAP Center. It’s all about their steak and potatoes. You walk in the door, order your steak, and that’s that. They'll bring you salad, but you don't get to choose your sides.
What was the biggest reason for staying in San Jose this summer?
We love it here, it’s beautiful, and I can be here working out and using the amazing facilities the Sharks have. It’s the place I want to be and the place I wanted to work out at.
How often did you get on the ice this summer?
In the beginning, I was doing more dry-ice training. I was in the gym a lot, in part because Solar4American Ice was re-doing a pair of its rinks, so ice wasn’t as available. But in the last couple of months, I’ve been able to get on a lot more. As more guys begin coming back, ice time has become more available which has made it easier.
Where you able to see your family this summer?
Yeah, they didn’t come out this summer, but we went back East and saw them. We went back to New Jersey for a week to see my family, and then we spent a week in Connecticut visiting my girlfriend Cami’s family. We didn't do anything special, but we just hung out and enjoyed our time together.
What’s the mindset going into training camp?
I’m excited to get back at it. Summer always seems long when you’re in it and short when it’s over. But I'm definitely excited to get back around the guys and get back to playing hockey.