Mason Raymond

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About Mason Raymond

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  1. Saw you with your FIANCEE at the Sun Run on the sides! : )

  2. A Retrospective - APR.14.08

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>I can’t believe that’s it for the season. It’s always nice to get the first one under your belt so I know more of what to expect next year. The biggest thing this year is that there was such a huge learning curve – I mean, everyday I was learning something new. I don’t think I can put my finger on what the most significant lesson I learned was but something that really sunk in for me was don’t take anything for granted because you never know when your chance will be. Trevor’s always been somebody that I’ve gone to look for advice and he’s been very good to me all year. Unfortunately, it ended much earlier than I had liked with the injuries but that’s just part of the game and that’s the way it goes. It’s my first ever real injury so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. At first, obviously it was really frustrating especially with the time of the year and with all the guys out going down the stretch run. Now it’s just focusing on rehab and getting better. The trainers are obviously great and I’m getting better everyday but it’s a slow process unfortunately but with this type of injury it just takes time. It’s hard to say when I’ll be good again – it still feels like I’ll be at least a couple weeks, if not more than that from playing again. It’s just one of those things where I don’t even know the answer myself but time will tell. I haven’t gotten the final word about what’s happening with my situation, whether I’ll stay here to rehab or go back to Winnipeg. I'm still here for now but those types of things will sort themselves out. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/022108_preds02_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/022108_preds02_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Having been up and down all year, it was mentally tough for sure but again, it’s part of the game and something you learn to deal with and take one day at a time. It was a major seize your moment and make the most of your opportunities type of mindset that I had to come to the rink with everyday. Hopefully I won’t have to do that next year and get to spend the full year in Vancouver. In my first blog, I said that the biggest adjustment that I worried about was the schedule because back in Minnesota there were a lot of practices and games were just Friday and Saturday. I did have a little taste of a more hectic schedule in junior hockey but that was a couple years before. This schedule is definitely grueling but I think I managed just fine and kind of just get used to. My schedule was maybe a little more crazy because I did have to travel to and from Winnipeg a few times this year. But I prefer this scheduling because I like playing more games. My dream has always been to play in the NHL so leaving college when I did was beyond a doubt the best decision for me. I wouldn’t trade this for anything. Besides rehabbing, this summer will be quite exciting because I’m getting married in July. My finacee’s been taking care of all the wedding details – she insists – because she likes doing all of that type of stuff. I left her with that and I planned our honeymoon in Mexico. We’ve both been there before separately so we’ll get to together for the first time. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1207_canuckgameday06_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1207_canuckgameday06_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a> I’m also very excited about getting to go back home to see my family and work on the farm. I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a break but to me working on the farm isn’t a job, it’s something I enjoy doing so I’ll be out there a lot. Other than that, there will be lots of training and working out. It’s been an incredible seven months and an amazing experience through my first year pro. I still remember the first day in September when we came in for testing before going to Victoria for camp. I wrote my first blog that day too and when I was approached to do this, I barely even knew what a blog really was. I think I did okay but it’s hard to keep up with writing all the time and having Kes as the other blogger – those are some high standards’ he’s set with his blogs. But seriously, it’s unbelievable how quickly time passed and that’s it for my first year. Thanks for following my ramblings!</td></tr></table>
  3. Rookie Hazing - FEB.25.08

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4> While we have a rare day off – not sure if we’ll be getting many more with the final stretch run coming – but I’ll give you a quick update. Last time I wrote, it was Dice and Ice and since it was my first year at the event, I really didn’t know what to expect. Most of you probably already saw or heard but as with years past, rookies always have to provide some entertainment, this year was no different. Unfortunately for me, I was a the mercy to yet another rookie initiation. First the pie and now dancing! I said before the event that I didn’t know what was happening but I knew that something was going to happen, well they didn’t tell us… ever. I went into it completely blind. I didn’t even know what I had to do until the girls came on stage! Now, performing isn’t really my kind of thing but I didn’t really have a choice. I was more than happy not to be the winner though because that way I didn’t have to be in the dance-off. Luc really had fun with it but he’s a musician so he has experience performing, so it’s no surprise he won but Alex’s robot wasn’t half bad. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/diceice2008_raymond_bQ.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/diceice2008_raymond_bQ_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a> It was fun but I won’t be sad to pass the torch to someone else. Everybody’s got to through their rookie hazing and I’m looking forward to mine being done so I can sit back and watch the other guys do theirs. The last road trip was really great, getting to have my dad with me and getting to show him my life now with the team. It was nice to get to take them out to the rink because they used to take us out as kids so they got to see how our schedules work and see all this side of the travel. They got to do some more activities with each other more than we did, which was great because the dads got to know each other and see the cities we visited. We were doing most of our pre-game stuff while the dads explored the city. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/FEB1908_Father-SonTrip01_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/02/FEB1908_Father-SonTrip01_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a> I know my dad had a great time and I’m sure all the dads really got a chance to enjoy the trip. Getting wins out of those cities really topped off a great trip. I was really glad we got to bring out dads out and spend some quality time with them because we rarely get to other than in the off-season. That’s it for now, I’ve got to recharge the batteries for practice tomorrow and get ready for the next few games. </td></tr></table>
  4. Settling In - FEB.12.08

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Tonight’s the Canucks annual Dice and Ice event, which being my first year and all, I’m pretty blind about the whole thing truthfully. I know it’s a great charity event that the team puts on every year and raises a lot of money for the Canucks for Kids Fund but other than that, I don’t know what it’ll be like as far the schedule of events and things like that. I’ve been told that last year, a couple of the rookies had to tell their best joke and I’m not sure what I have to do but I know that something’s going to happen. I didn’t even get word of anything until this morning but I know that I should be on alert. I don’t really have a repertoire of jokes, so if it’s going to be the same as last year, I’m definitely not prepared. At least, it won't be pies again - or at least I hope it won't be for my suit's sake. I’m anxious to see what will happen though. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0508_skills15_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0508_skills15_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Since the last time I wrote (which seems like a long long time ago), I’m had some clothes sent out so I’m doing a lot better as far as clothes. I was fortunate that I had just bought a black suit a little while ago and I just bought a white shirt so I should be set for tonight. Now, I’m not much of a card player at all but I’m going to be dealing blackjack tonight. Usually if I play, it would just be like a donation on my part, so it’ll be interesting how tonight will end up (good things it’s just funny money). I know Roberto and Alex Burrows are big into playing cards so they’ll probably be really good at it tonight. People always say all the bad things about living in a hotel but I’m definitely not complaining but I must admit, I’ve got a pretty good setup here. The room is like a little apartment with a little living room and a kitchen, although admittedly, I don’t use it. I do a lot of eating out because I’m not much of a cook, I’ve never really liked it and I don’t think I’m very good at it either. Luckily, in Winnipeg, I was staying with some family so I got some good meals made for me there. I definitely eat out a lot more here than when I did there but it’s still tough to complain with things I have here. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0208_practice08_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0208_practice08_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I haven’t even really had too much time in Vancouver and on my off days, I just spend a lot of time relaxing to recharge the batteries. There hasn’t been too many exciting things going on but so far the best experience I’ve had off the ice is just when I went over to Trevor or Markus’ for dinner. I got to spend some time with their families and have a home cooked meal, which is really nice. It’s good for me to experience that because I look forward to having that down the road for myself. We’ve got a couple of big games coming up so hopefully I’ll some time in between to check in more frequently than I have.</td></tr></table>
  5. Travelling Man - JAN.18.08

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>It’s been a crazy roller coaster ride, what with the traveling back and forth, but it’s always exciting getting to come back up here. When I got sent back down, we were on the road in Houston so I never even made it back to Winnipeg to get more clothes or anything like that. You don’t get much time between the time they tell me I’m getting called up or being sent down – it could be any where from half an hour to five hours. It’s pretty quick and I think I’m getting really good at the whole packing thing now – at least I know I’ve got the speed part down. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0808_canuckpractice01_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan0808_canuckpractice01_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I’m pretty much living out of a suitcase right now and I don’t have much of a home but I’m having fun and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a pretty good setup in Winnipeg but they treat us well here in Vancouver too. It’s a nice hotel so I can’t really complain about that and Alex Edler’s staying here too so we get together for dinners or movies or something when we can. It’s been pretty busy with hockey, playing three games in four days in Houston and San Antonio and then in Detroit so I try to take advantage of any days off we get, which isn’t too many because we’re playing every other day. The hours have been crazy, like last night we got in late but today I got a chance to sleep in a little and in the afternoon (after practice), it’s time to recharge the batteries. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan1008_sharks03_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/jan1008_sharks03_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Of course, it’s tough to get sent down but I learned from the first time I got sent down and I felt it was a big learning curve for me. You’ve got to go down there, work hard, and hopefully get called back up. Luckily, it’s working out for me right now and I’m glad to be back and excited for the upcoming games. I’ve noticed so many things are different between playing on Manitoba and playing on Vancouver, one of the biggest things that sticks out for me is the travel. In Vancouver, we get spoiled with a chartered plane compared to sitting on a bus and then going on commercial flights with the Moose. It’s fine but it wears on your body when you’re have to play the next day or two days in a row kind of thing. I'll try to write more often when I have some time but right now it's time to catch up on some rest before the game tomorrow.</td></tr></table>
  6. Just Around the Corner - DEC.20.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Last time I blogged, I said I would start my Christmas shopping and I actually did. I didn’t have much shopping to do but what I did need, I got it all done in Winnipeg for the most part. I only really needed to get a few things, my parents, fiancé, and a couple of others – pretty easy I’d say. Christmas this year will be a little different because I don’t really know what I’m going to be doing yet. It’s a day-by-day kind of thing right now. Of course, it’d be nice to go home for Christmas and spend it with my family – I think that’s what I would miss most about being away during the holidays. It’s become like a vacation spot for me now to go back so it’s always fun. Another perk is that there’s no farming this time of the year so all the chores are pretty much shut down. It’s a good time to go back, relax, and just enjoy being home. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1207_canuckgameday08_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/12/dec1207_canuckgameday08_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Growing up in Cochrane, there was always lots of snow around this time of the year. My dad built a rink in the backyard so we would got to do that too. I’d go out with my cousins and no matter what, it was always fun just going out there. What made it more memorable is that every time I go out there, my dog Champ would be right there with me no matter what. He was border collie – typical farm dog. He was almost like another teammate for me – always helping me out, grabbing pucks, and bringing them back. He had a few broken teeth but it didn’t matter. He just loved being out there and neither one us would trade it anything. Of course getting new equipment was always exciting and great but one gift that stands out is a basketball net I got when I was… no more than 10 years old. I don’t know why but I had really wanted it as a kid and I just went out there and played with my cousins but we usually had to sit through the winter and by spring, I was itching to go out there and play. It definitely wasn’t one of those impulse gifts, where you really want it and then forget about in a week, it stayed pretty popular for a while. It’s actually still standing out there back home but a little more worn, having gone through the weather. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice13_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice13_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Okay, so some of you may be talking about my “stint” on a sitcom but I really don’t have a lot to say about it. Honestly, I don’t know the show but a lot of people have asked me and emailed me about my name being mentioned on “How I Met Your Mother”. I still haven’t had a chance to see it but people are asking me if I’ve talked to the girl in the show and everything but all I know is my name was randomly mentioned. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know the actor or how that came about but it’s kind of funny. Since coming back to Vancouver, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the weather. The temperature is for sure different. Winnipeg is covered in snow and here is pretty mild. I really noticed that this time coming here. It’s more like home in Winnipeg because there is snow and the rain is actually something new to me but both are fine. But I’ll take rain over snow, if it means being in Vancouver for a longer time. </td></tr></table>
  7. Back from the Road - Dec.07.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>It’s been almost a month since I last wrote one of these, so I figured it’s about time I sat down and churned something out. We just got back from almost three weeks on the road and it’s nice to be at home through December. I’m still staying with family, so the home-cooked meals and spending time with the little kids is great. I think they like it as much as I do, so it works out for all of us. It’s a lot easier to fill up your days at home than it is on the road. When we were away, I spent a lot of time reading, listening to my iPod, and shopping, although I really don’t like shopping and just do it to kill time. I’m reading this book called Hockey Tough. It’s a sports psychology book, but I also just finished reading another book called Alive, which is like the movie. I actually don’t read as much as I should because it’s tough to do on the bus because I get a bit of a headache. When I’m on the bus I usually just listen to my iPod. Mostly country but some other stuff too. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice12_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice12_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>When we head out on trips, we fly out of Winnipeg and then bus everywhere else. Our travel actually got screwed up a few times on this trip thanks to some crazy weather in the States. I’ve never seen anything like the ice storm we saw in Quad Cities. Everything you touched was ice, so we got to spend an extra night there, which was okay. We were back at it the next day, but there were still cars and semi-trucks in the ditches all over the place. Speaking of weather, some folks in Vancouver have been asking how I’m liking winter in Winnipeg. I’m from Calgary so we get much of the same weather there. But I’m told the bitter cold can really last up here, but that’s okay because I love the snow. When it gets to be about -30 or colder, that’s a little extreme, but nonetheless, I enjoy it. With the snow, it’s a fun time of year for me. I’ve got some stuff to do, so that’s all for this time. Should probably start my Christmas shopping but it’s hard to get motivated. Maybe next week. </td></tr></table>
  8. Life as Moose - NOV.09.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Well, I’ve been back with the Moose for over a week now and finally settling down into some sort of routine. It’s obviously disappointing whenever you get sent down, but I try to make the most of it and focus on what needs to be done. Like writing this blog. Haha. Didn’t get much sleep for a few days after leaving Vancouver early last week. Got into Winnipeg late Monday night, and then left with the team for Chicago early Tuesday morning. No trick-or-treating for us on Halloween, but we did beat Quad City in a shootout that night. Then we bussed it to Milwaukee for a game Friday night, and the whole team pulled together for a big come-from-behind win. We got down 3-0 early, but we churned out six straight goals to take them 6-3. Schneids made some great saves that game . . . It’ll be great for fans to get to see this guy in action when he makes it to the big club. And then back into Illinois Saturday to play Rockford. Lots of time on the bus. That’s something I really don’t miss in Vancouver. Traveling is so different down here. Night and day compared to the NHL. You go from chartered planes and leaving when you want, to commercial flights and airports and busses. That’s just the way it is in the American League, I guess, so you’ve gotta make do. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice12_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice12_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>It’s been nice to sit down and relax a little bit this week. I’m staying with family, and it’s great to be able to see everybody, unpack your clothes, and eat some home-cooked meals. We’ve got back-to-back games against Milwaukee this weekend. That’s another AHL thing that takes a bit of getting used to. I guess to help keep travel costs down, we always play double-headers when at home. That’s something you don’t see too often in the big league. It all gets underway tonight. Getting some wins at home is the most important thing, because that makes practice more fun and makes it easier to head back out on the road next weekend. Anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me. I’m trying to get better at these, but I never know what to say. I’ll try to think of something interesting to write next time. </td></tr></table>
  9. A Big Difference - OCT.23.2007

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Again, it’s been too long since I last submitted a blog, but in my defence, it’s been hectic. This is a far cry from college hockey. Last week I went from Vancouver to Winnipeg and back in 36 hours. I was told after the San Jose game on Monday that I was being sent down. I had a pretty good idea that I was coming back up, so I didn’t check out of my hotel here in Vancouver. I just grabbed my plane clothes, a suit, and my shaving kit and left for the airport on Tuesday around noon. Thankfully I didn’t play that night. We practiced Wednesday morning, played that night (we beat the Rochester Americans 7-1) and was back on a plane to Vancouver at 3:30 am (PST). I don’t remember much, I slept most of the way to tell you the truth, but obviously a flight that early in the morning is tough on the body. It was good to get in Thursday so I had time to rest up for Friday’s game. That kind of thing does throw you off, but that’s the nature of the business I guess. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice03_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/10/oct1807_practice03_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Obviously I want to be here in Vancouver, but it was good to go down and play in some key situations and be a go-to guy. Now that I’ve played a couple of games here, I really see the difference between the NHL and the AHL. The game is different, but I don’t know how to pinpoint it exactly. Sometimes when you think you have more time to make a play here in the NHL, it’s less time down there – which is weird. And it seems like it’s the opposite there. I guess it’s just more scrambly or something. And I’m supposed to write something about my “Welcome to the NHL” moment. That’s hard because that was almost a month ago now, and I don’t know that I really had one. I guess it really sank in when I lined up for a face-off in the home-opener. I looked over and Thornton and Cheechoo were there – that’s pretty neat. I was watching them last year in the playoffs and all of the sudden they’re right there, and you’re playing against them. That was a neat experience. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2607_sharks03_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2607_sharks03_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Learning lots though. Some of the guys up here have really helped me out and gone way out of their way to make me feel comfortable. They’ve been very welcoming and have always made it clear that if I need anything, I can come to them. I went over to Trevor Linden’s one night for a great dinner. His wife cooked pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and salad. And a few of us guys went to Markus’s house for Thanksgiving dinner: myself, Ryan Shannon, Mike Weaver, and Mattias Ohlund’s family. It was a wonderful dinner. You’re really thankful for it when you’ve only had two home-cooked meals in the last month and a half. Most of us guys at the hotel eat together. Nobody’s cooking, so Earls has been pretty popular. So have The Keg and Cactus Club. Somebody asked me to talk about my skates, I guess because they’re different. I wear Graf skates. Not many guys wear them – for one, they don’t do sponsorships. Bauer is probably the biggest skate around the locker room, but I like Grafs. I know the owner from growing up in Calgary.They also have a factory in Switzerland. And for the guy that asked, I take a 5/8ths hollow. I like them sharp. Okay, I’ve got to get some things together before the next flight. Hope that was okay.</td></tr></table>
  10. Hey Cuz...

    Just wanted to say Congrats on making the Show!! Attah' boy. We knew you'd do it. F^kin rights buddy. We'll be rooting for ya.

    Mark, Todd, Scott, Nichole, myself and our other halfs wish you the best...

    Also, congrats with the lil lady~

  11. Getting Closer - SEP.26.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>It’ been a while since I’ve blogged but as you’ve probably noticed, there’s just not a lot of time with the road trip, the games, the practices, and… dare I say, time to rest? – well not much of it any way. My parents were in town last week to visit and it was really nice to have them here and to have familiar faces around. I didn’t have a lot of time to really show them around so I did a very inadequate “tour” of Vancouver, well we went to West Vancouver for a day and that was basically it. Besides, I’m not really all that familiar with the city myself so I’m probably not the best person to be showing around anyone here. Their visit was definitely too short. My fiancée didn’t get to visit though because she’s in school right now. She at the University of Calgary studying business and commerce so she’s busy enough over there. It’s hard doing the long distance thing obviously but right now it’s no different than it was before. We’ve been doing this for a while now so Vancouver seems kind of close and easy in comparison. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2007_scored_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2007_scored_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I had my birthday last week on a game day but to tell you the truth, it kind of just passed and wasn’t a big deal. It was like any other day, especially since there was a game. It was kind of the last thing on my mind since we are still in training camp and I’m still fighting for a job but I guess I’m just a year older. That’s all that really means for now. I had kind of a late birthday gift… sort of. The night after my birthday day, we played the Oilers and I got my first NHL pre-season goal. I was excited about getting that first goal up here because it felt like weight off my shoulders and it’s good to get that first one under my belt. I’ve already played in three games (tonight will be the fourth) and so I feel much more comfortable and I’m getting more confident all the time. Hopefully it’ll just keep getting better. I’ve heard that some of the guys kept the if they scored they’d keep the puck, but for me it doesn’t really mean as much right now. I don’t want to keep it until the regular season – I think it’ll mean more when I get a goal in my first regular season game. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2407_Bourdon_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/Sep2407_Bourdon_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>We had the Jake Milford Golf Tournament Monday and it was a lot of fun. It was great to be part of something that’s such a great cause. Milford is a guy that’s looked upon highly and very supportive of kids and everyone else so I really enjoyed being part of an event like this. I played with a group of sawmill workers from a company called Trimlite, who were all very nice and I'm glad that I had a good group. I don’t know what our total score was but we didn’t win any prizes. I think Luc Bourdon’s group was one of the big winners. Some guys got cut yesterday but I'm happy that I've made through so far because it's just that much closer to achieving my ultimate goal here. The season is right around the corner so it's definitely getting closer. I just have to keep my focus and continue doing what I do and hopefully show the coaches what I can do out there and convince them that I can do it for a long time up here.</td></tr></table>
  12. NHL Debut - SEP.17.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>Our last day in Victoria was definitely a quick one. We left the hotel up at Bear Mountain at around 9 o’clock to go to the Save on Foods Memorial arena. There were tons of people waiting outside even though it was cold and raining. Now that’s dedication you can only get here. The intra-squad game was really a lot fun and it was good to finally get into game mode. We haven’t really had this sort of game experience since the end of last season and we’ve been away from the game the whole summer. Training and drills is not the same so it was good to get the game under my belt. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp20_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp20_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a> I know the arena was sold out – or at least that’s what I heard – but I was so focused on the game that the crowd was pretty much drowned out. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get a goal, I mean you always want to put the puck in the net but maybe it’ll happen here, which would be even better. You’ve just got to make the most out of your opportunities and take advantage where you can. The best part of the game is definitely the fact that Blue won. The pace was definitely quick and because it was our first real game-type situation since all summer it took a little bit to get adjusted to but you quickly come around. I really enjoyed playing at that level, it’s good for me and it’s fun. I think it’s something that I’m ready for, hopefully for a long time to come. It was very cool to play with those guys because they’re all high caliber players but it’ll be even better when you don’t have to play your own teammates. It’s very exciting to play in my first NHL game tonight, regardless whether it’s pre-season or otherwise. I just can’t wait to get started, it’s like a dream come true for sure. This is just one stepping stone in one of many goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve achieved this one but there are so many more ahead of me that I can’t lose focus of what I’m here to do. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1607_camp01_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1607_camp01_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I’m going into this the same way I do everything else and the same mindset I had going into training camp. There are obviously some nerves, as usual but I’m not going to make any drastic changes to my pre-game routine. I just have to go into this with confidence and bottom line is to have fun and work hard. I’m anxious to get out there and I can’t wait. Reporters are always asking what I think is going to happen but honestly, I have no predictions for tonight. I’m only going to control what I can control and anything beyond that is beyond me. I’m going to stick to what to what I’ve always done and it’s just working hard and play my game. I’m not sure what to expect but we’re playing the Stanley Cup Champions so it’s not going to be easy even though it is pre-season. Everyone’s always saying how pre-season doesn’t mean anything but I’m fighting for a job so of course it means something, every game should and does. The Ducks are going to be solid and we know they have a lot of talent so we just have to bring our game and hopefully come out with a win. </td></tr></table>
  13. On The Hunt - Sep.15.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>I’m looking forward to the intrasquad game tomorrow. Since it is my first training camp and I’ve never participated in one of these games, I’m not really sure what to expect. I don’t know who I’m playing with yet but whoever they pair me up with, I’ve got to make work so it doesn’t really matter who I’m playing with. Whatever comes my way, I’ll be ready for. Besides with a this group of guys, it really doesn’t matter who I play with, they’re all great so it’ll be good no matter what. I don’t think too much into the game. For me, tomorrow’s just another day and I just want to be ready and prepare myself mentally and physically. I want to make sure I can play my best. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1507_camp08_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1507_camp08_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a> Tomorrow will be fun but I’m fighting for a spot still so I’ve got to work my hardest, play my hardest but at the same time I do want to go out there and have fun. I just need to make sure I keep my focus and remember what I’m here for. Growing up in Alberta and being from so close to Calgary, I grew up as a Flames’ fan, naturally. But as soon as I got drafted by Vancouver, I changed my mind pretty quickly. Besides, who wouldn’t be a Canucks fan right? Obviously, I’ll still check on Calgary from time to to time but ultimately, my heart is all in Vancouver now. As a kid my favourite player was Theo Fleury and Gary Roberts just because they were both really good but I was asked if I emulate my game after anybody but I don’t think so. I’d like to think that I play like myself and that I’m just me. I’d like to be an individual so hopefully that’s what comes across to the coaches when I’m out there. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1507_camp06_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1507_camp06_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a> Speaking of home… What I miss a lot if hunting. I always went out with my dad when I was younger and he would hunt deer and moose and birds and stuff. I guess I just followed in his footsteps and I got into it when I was about 10 years old. Unfortunately, hunting season is only about three months of the year in September, October, and November so it conflicts with hockey season and obviously hockey outweighs the hunting.</td></tr></table>
  14. Not an Easy Task - SEP.14.07

    <table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_blog.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4>My new roommate has joined me on this blogging venture and to tell you the truth, after writing blogs for the past week and a half or so, I have zero advice for him. I don’t think it’s as easy as it seems and trying to come up with stuff to say everyday can sometimes be hard but I guess just being yourself makes for the best content. Okay so if you read Ryan’s blog, he blew my cover – well not really cover but I said in an earlier blog that I’m messy – well not really. I’m actually pretty neat, even though my roommates in college weren’t, I like to keep my stuff pretty neat and know where all my stuff is you know. It’s not that big a deal I guess but thought I would maybe settle some confusion there (if there even was any) Today felt really good out there and getting to practice with the vets is awesome. I mean, rookie camp was cool but this is what it’s all about. I’m always learning something and there’s still so much I’m taking away from this everyday and I can’t ask for more. Obviously the first day was the hardest and there were some nerves but I’m not intimidated. Everyone’s great but there’s a reason why I’m here and I just want to make sure that I’m able to show that as much as possible and let the coaches see what I’m capable of. <a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp13_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep1407_camp13_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a> I haven’t really thought about school but it’s crossed my mind a little bit. If I wasn’t here I’d be in school right now and I’m obviously way happier to be here right now. School was definitely not one of my favourites but I’m happy with my decision to go because there still lots of good things about it. I miss my friends but I still talk to a lot of the guys down there. I’m now an alumni with the team so I still get the updates and I can keep up that way. The season for us doesn’t start until October so there are no official practices with the coaches or anything like that right away. The first football game of the year was a tradition that a lot of the guys like to do. We’d all go out and support the team in their home-opener but I’m not much into football. I’m a fan of the Colts because I like Payton Manning but that’s about it, I guess. </td></tr></table>