<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>After enduring the fitness testing yesterday morning, we almost immediately took the ferry over to Victoria. I’ve never been to Victoria so it was really exciting, as if there wasn’t enough excitement with just camp itself, going on the ferry was great. There aren't a whole lot of ferries where I am so the big ship, the water, the whole experience, it was really cool.
We were lucky because the weather was cooperating. I’ve heard about the BC rain and changing weather but it was beautiful so I would've never known about the rain if I wasn't previously warned about it (not that I mind that much anyway). It was good to get to just relax after the intense morning, we got to do some sightseeing out on the deck and just hang out. It won’t be this easy once we get on the island that’s for sure.
I slept a little better last night but I mean the beds were so comfortable and the rooms are so nice, it's hard not to sleep well. I really feel almost spoiled here. The nerves are still there but this environment helps ease that – well at least a little bit. I can’t ask for anything more than to just be here in Victoria right now.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond1_09072007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond1_09072007_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=3 hspace=4></a>It was a quiet night since everyone was trying to rest up for today’s session…
Going on the ice, I felt like a kid in a candy store today. We’ve been doing mostly off-ice conditioning training so to get on the ice and do some skating felt great. My nerves went away when I stepped into the rink this morning, it was like home and I got to go out there and show them what I can do.
I'm happy with how the day went though. I felt that I performed well and hopefully caught the coaches and scouts' attention out there.
Warning: Clichés ahead.
There’s still a lot more work to do and a long road ahead so I’ve got to take it one step at time. But to tell you the truth, I’m just happy I got the first day under my belt and got the chance to skate out some of the jitters. It was a good day overall.
It’s weird how I normally would be back in school and now I’m here fighting for a job in the NHL. Unbelievable, really.
<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond2_09062007_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/raymond2_09062007_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=3 hspace=4></a>Back in Minnesota, it’s not really much of a tryout, there are a set 25 guys who come out and skate and that’s kind of it. It’s kind of weird that way, there’s still competition of course but in a much different way. It’s a lot more relaxed and the anxiety’s kind of not really there like it is right now.
I’m just excited for tomorrow and get to go back out there and do it again.</td></tr></table>