Mitch Marner off the ice, and in the air
Toronto Maple Leaf, Mitch Marner discusses traveling for work, living out of a suitcase, and his favourite cities to visit.
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There’s always a little anxiety around traveling for everyone. Depending on personal style the stress could be around packing, or anticipating the traffic on route to the airport, or simply turbulence during the flight. For Mitch however, it’s not simply around the itinerary, he’s thinking about the reason he’s traveling: the game. With eight to nine months of the year on the road for away games, Mitch knows about travel.
“I’ve mastered the art of sleeping anywhere,” he jokes. “Jet lag doesn’t really bother me because I sneak naps in whenever I can, especially a pre-game nap! But I oddly don’t sleep on the plane. I’m usually playing cards with the guys, or watching movies or TV.” His must-haves when on the road: “I never travel without my headphones, phone and tablet – with so much time commuting, I need to keep myself entertained somehow.”
With sleeping and inflight entertainment covered, we assume that like any seasoned traveler, Mitch must have a strategy to help with efficiencies when packing for trips. When we asked if he had any tips to offer, “Well I have a caring girlfriend, so I’ve never packed for myself,” he replied coyly, “but I do cheer her on.”
Regardless of how he approaches packing tactics, Mitch has seen a lot and been to many cities around North America, and when asked if he had any favourites along the way, “I really like visiting California because of the weather, but I love New York as a city. There’s so much to do and there’s just a fun energy there. But I think my favourite road city has to be Buffalo – it may technically be an away game, but we have Leafs fans there as well and they’re loud and proud. It’s great and feels like home!”
Hockey players are famous for their routines and superstitions when it comes to big games and playoffs, however Mitch clarified that his routine doesn’t differ when on the road. “I have a big bowl of pre-game pasta to carb up, and I put my left side of gear on before the right when dressing. Aside from that, sleep is my ritual. I just try and rest up as much as I can, but now that I think about it, I do sleep on the right side of the bed and have a pillow wall. I guess that’s kind of superstitious,” he laughs.
While traveling and visiting different places can be exciting, Mitch shares that familiar feeling we all have when returning home.
It’s always good to be back. It’s a great opportunity to see the world and play in different cities, but I definitely prefer home games to being on the road. It’s our home, our fans, and a different energy to those games. Plus it allows me to spend more time with family and friends.
In case you ever find yourself sitting next to Mitch on a flight, just know that you’ll be sitting in the aisle seat. “Oh yeah, I choose the window seat every time.” He likes a view when playing those card games.
Did you know that Mitch has been appointed Head of Marner Reassurance at Intact Insurance? Follow his office pep talks here.