I decided to take my son Hunter to practice wondering if this might be one of the last if no CBA deal was made in the following week. Hunter as usual was a great time and I was pleasantly surprised with all the players I saw. There were no Thunderbirds on the ice but the "Usual Suspects" including the Sedins, Hamhuis, Bieksa, Malhotra, and Higgins were there. UBC's head coach Milan Dragicevic was leading practice and it was business as usual. I will say this, the players were laughing, having fun and celebrating every goal like it was their first, but there was different energy to practice. They didn't have the bounce I had seen in the past and it just felt different.
Hunter and I left and I wondered if maybe that would be my last one? Little didn't I know. I had heard about these "marathon sessions" of negotiating between the NHL and NHLPA over the weekend but this time I really wasn't getting excited. Then at 3:20am PST I found out an agreement had been reached. Thank you to my good friend Art who works for the Canucks and his text message which simply said "We're Back!! Lockout is over!!! I replied back with "Thank you for letting me know" That set my mind a running and I was in bed thinking about my show and all my ideas. I didn't fall back asleep till 5:00am. When I woke up Sunday morning to get Hunter to skating lessons I was happy but tired!
This practice I might add looked much different then practice last week or for the last few months for that matter. The players had way more bounce in their step and they were working really hard. UBC's club was keeping up and you could tell that a great relationship has been formed between the two clubs.
Again Milan Dragicevic was leading the way and running the drills. But man the press! They were everywhere. For the first time since September Canucks TV was there. There camera guy Rory, Derek the blogger and Joey the web reporter where all there getting work done. I was talking to Derek and filled him in on what had been happening at practice the last few months. Not only was Canucks TV there but Global TV, the CBC (both french and english), CTV, SportsNet, Team 1040, the Province and Vancouver Sun Newspapers all had press there to cover the news plus many others. It was a wild wild show. Watching the players practice and then some try to steer clear of the press and some get rangled in, I learned a lot just watching. Max Lapierre seemed to get a lot of questions, given he was the newest one. It looked like everyone eventually got stopped.
And that is what I saw at practice! I will keep you posted on everything else I see! Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures and video!