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Anxious Start - SEP.06.07

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Mason Raymond

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<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 night I tried to have a relaxing night - I just went out to dinner with a friend at the Cactus Club. I tried to watch some TV, but I knew I had to get my rest for a big testing day this morning. To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep the best. I was a bit nervous for today. My mind was just racing, mostly because I was anxious to see what lies ahead.

It's my first NHL training camp. I've been to lots of camp before, but nothing like this - it's a whole new experience for me. I just don’t know what’s coming ahead, but I’m excited to see what the future brings.

I had a really good year last season in college, and I feel like I’m ready to make the jump - that’s why I made the move in the first place. People always talk about how hard it is and the commitment it takes to make it to the next level, but I really feel like I'm ready to become a professional hockey player. Hopefully I'll be here in Vancouver in a few weeks.

For me, the biggest change from college will probably be the game schedule, because you only play about a 38 games in college and here you have a 82-game regular season schedule. That’ll be a big adjustment.

<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_09062007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond_09062007_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>I get asked quite a bit about going to college instead of playing major junior. For me it was a great experience. I loved it. You meet some great people down there for sure, and you’re kind of killing two birds with one stone because you get hockey and schooling. The thing I’ll miss most is probably the hockey side – the rink and the atmosphere is very exciting and is always something you’ll remember. But one thing I have to admit that I’m not going to miss the homework or classes. That could be a tough a juggling act at times.

I'll admit that I'm feeling a bit of anxiety coming here. The testing wasn't too bad - I mean it was hard and everything - but I know it's only the beginning. I don’t really know what to expect, so that kind of adds to the nervousness. I know you hear people say it all the time, but my focus really is to just go as far as I can and give my best effort. I want to make it a tough decision for the coaches.

I don’t know who my roommate is yet, that's going to be another adjustment for sure, but it would be a dream to room with someone like Markus Naslund or one of the Sedins or something like that. I’m not too picky I guess, but someone not too loud or messy would be nice.

<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/rookietest9_09062007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/rookietest9_09062007_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>In college, I lived with four other guys and it was fun but the house was a mess all the time and it was always something scary. I don’t clean as much as I’d like, but at least I kept my room clean. I couldn’t say the same thing about the other parts of the house. Thankfully, we invested in a dishwasher, which helped... sort of.

Someone asked me what I'm looking forward to most of all. I guess it's getting each day done, because that way I’m closer to the main event. I'm anxious to find out where I’m going to be and really excited to hopefully play in an exhibition game.

We started testing about 8 am this morning and we're heading over to the ferry almost immediately. It’s feels like a long day already but tomorrow it all begins again. I think we're on the ice at 9am and go straight through till the afternoon. I'm looking forward to it.</td></tr></table>

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hopefully you make the team, you and naslund get to bunk together, and both of you can be a big part of the offence this year ;)

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Don't think too much, ie coaches, rock star hockey players, first camp. Just play your game, faster and harder than you ever have!

All the best. I hope to see you with the big club this year.

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Guest Baby Duck

Posted

word son. what number you gonna try to get if u make the club ? we've needed a new #10 for a while now. Pavel might be tough to live up to, but if u got speed theres a chance u could pull it off. do me a favour tho & dont take #96. Bure broke his knee when he tried to wear #96 courtesy Steve Smith of the Hawks. it took the franchise nearly 5 years to recover. by that time Pavel was in Florida winning the Rocket Richard trophy, and Jovo was playing his way onto the Salt Lake team that won gold.

i think #18 is available too.

peace out holmes.

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I wish you the best of luck, Mason. You're a good kid. Don't be too anxious. Just give it your best shot! Have a great camp!

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Guest Guest_Rex_*

Posted

Hey Mason,

I remember my first training camp with the Portland Winterhawks (87) at the age of 16, I was so nervous but excited all at the same time which I'm sure is what you're feeling. It was all so new to me coming in as a highly touted 16 yr old, dealing with lots of media everyday and all the other distractions that come with notoriety which I'm sure you know what I mean. It can be difficult at times to remain focused but after my experience and losing my shot due to an incident during a preseason game (was suspeneded by the BCHA for 5 yrs) which in turn made me ineligable for the draft (was projected as a late 1st rounder or early 2nd rounder in the 89 draft) so after that my life changed so dramatically (overnight) no more hockey, my shot at the show gone. I would have done anything to change things to be given a second chance but opportunities such as what I had and you now have are a privilege not a right which I learned the hard way. So the moral is go for it Mason, give it everything you've got so you never have to live with regrets, from what I've seen and heard you obviously have the tools needed to play at the NHL level so the rest is up to you and how you go about this rare and precious opportunity. Listen to the coaches (even if it makes no sense) they will ultimately decide where you end up so do as they say, work your ass off and showcase your God given speed and above all play your game (that's`what got you here, never ever forget that) and make it impossible for them to let you go. I hope this is not coming accross as preching or anything like that, I just wish someone had of gotten through to me when I had my shot so my intentions here are truly motivational and to share what can happen when you don't fully appreciate the opportunity in front of you. Good luck Mason, I have it on good authority that you have the goods to do it so go get em!!

Rex

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Guest Scotty Raymond

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All the best Cousin,

Hey Mason, congrats on the recent big news buddy, I guess we had the same thing in mind as I hear. Mason your going tear it up on the ice out there as always, I've been following your game since you were little and may even trade in the Flames jersey for a Canucks jersey, and I'll wear it proud bud. I check in on the web-sites on a weekly basis and have been watching your progress close the past few years, no doubt in my mind your ability to see the ice will take you places, like the all start game one day. Your five cousins here will be watching and cheering for you wherever you end up, play the same game as always and dont worry about overdoing it, stay calm and focused and play the game the same as you always have and you'll be on your way. See you around Mason, all the best.

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heyy welcum aboard >> hope u have a great camp and best of luck to u.

u'll do great :D

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