Enough about that, let me tell you about my wild and busy week. My Dad came over from Victoria on Sunday because we were going to see Paul McCartney that night. It was the first time Sir Paul had been in Vancouver in nearly 50 years! He put on a great 3 hour show and it was amazing to watch.
The next morning I asked my Dad if he wanted to head out to UBC with me to see if the Canucks were practicing? He said sure! My Dad has been around longer then the Canucks have but he is a Canucklehead fan. He likes to watch good hockey. He will watch any game on TV or the Victoria Royals or even watch my brother play in his league. My Dad also drove to a lot of hockey tournaments with my brother when he was little. He got to know Dallas powerhouse forward Jamie Benn's dad over the years when their boys played together so it is safe to say my Dad knows a lot about hockey.
When we got to the rink the Canucks were practicing with the UBC Thunderbirds but to my surprise Jason Garrison was skating with them. This was the first time I got to see Garrison interacting with his teammates. They moved from a practice rink to UBC's main rink 1/2 way through practice and as I ran around and took pictures and video like I usually do my Dad was having a great time watching the drills. He knew every drill they were doing. Whether it be working on the power play or penalty kill, he got it. Plus it is always fun to see these guys that close up. My Dad and brother always went to at least one game together a year when my brother was little but as my Dad said to me on Monday "I never got to see them this close up" We didn't get to stay for the whole practice because we had to leave and pick up my Sister who was joining us for the Bruce Springsteen concert that night. I know, tough life right? Sir Paul and the Boss on back to back nights!
On Wednesday morning it all made sense. My editor and great friend Ricky sent me a text message simply saying "Good Morning, bye bye Schneidog". I didn't get it at first then I thought Schneider probably signed a contract with a Swiss team. My heart sank a bit and my first though was this is not good. If Schneider goes perhaps that means the NHL and NHLPA are further from an agreement then we the public think? I wondered if there was more to the story and got on my computer. I found out Cory Schneider had indeed signed with the Swiss team HC Ambri-Piotta. Then I tried as best I could to put myself in Cory's shoes. He is 26, hasn't played a game in 7 months, took over the starting goalie job from Roberto Luongo in Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings, he signed a 3 year, $12 million contract with the Canucks and is being groomed to take over the starter position in Vancouver, he has his Swiss citizenship through his Dad so he doesn't have to jump many hoops to be able to play in Switzerland and the contract he signed will expire December 31st but Cory can renew if the lockout continues. I sat back and thought about this and it made perfect sense. If I were Cory and the chance came up to play some games I would have gotten on a plane and flown over as well. Then if the lockout ends by Christmas Cory will have a few games under his belt. I get why some Vancouver fans took this like the lockout is going to drag on because Cory is the first Canuck with a big name to sign a contract but I don't view it that way. I think Cory made a great choice and best of luck to him! The only question I still have is "How is Chris Higgins going to get to practice?" Whenever I saw Cory and Chris in a car it always looked like Cory was giving Chris a lift. Maybe Cory will let his buddy borrow his car while he is out of town.