<table align="center" border="0" width="80%"><tbody><tr><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/09/sanford_blog.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1">Going into free agency, you never know what's going to happen and I'm just glad it worked out for me and my family that we're back in Vancouver. The relationship I had with the guys last year, it's always nice to return to familiar territory and not have to relocate. We're all settled, the whole family's back here and got our son, Landon, in school, if a little late.
This week was his first week at school because we got here and school had already started so he was a couple weeks late. He's five so he's just starting Kindergarten, which is exciting for all of us. I think school at that age is a pretty exciting time, they're exploring and meeting new people and hopefully making some new friends along the way.
We tried to do the first day of school thing but he's not very good at taking photos because it's hard to keep him standing still enough to get a good picture but mom tries to do the best she can when it comes to that.
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/09/sep2008_boks_t.jpg align=right vspace=2 hspace=4 border=0>He's already settling into a routine now and every morning he's up and ready to go at about quarter to seven so you know he's having fun when he's doing that. We try to ask him what he did in school and I know it's just kindergarten but they get excited about the smallest things, even snack time. We like to get involved as much as we can but it's hard to get him calm enough to come and talk to us about things.
Over the summer, we pretty much just stayed in Owen Sound and didn't too a whole lot. We went on a two-week vacation to Martha's Vineyard at the end of July and that was about it. The whole family went down and because we know some people there, we got to stay at their cottage. It was good to take a break and have some family time.
I'm sure you're all wondering about my mask so here's the deal: The idea came about at the year end dinner and my wife and I were sitting with TC (director of media relations) and his wife and I kind of threw the idea out there that if I came back next year, we should do a mask design contest.
It was just something off the top of my head so when I re-signed, he called me up and asked me if we were still going to do the mask contest and I don't have any superstitions or anything so I wasn't too reluctant to do it.
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/09/sanfordmask04_t.jpg align=left vspace=2 hspace=4 border=0>Going into the contest, I had a general idea of what I was looking for because I've had the Sandman theme on my mask for five or six years now so I kind of wanted to get away from that. I can always go back to that if I want but for the contest I wanted to take something original.
The design that won, when I saw it, it just floored me. I just knew that was it. I know it was just a pencil sketch but I knew that once there was some colour in it that it would be great. I knew that he took a lot of time designing it and he thought out the design really well. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. The painter did a great job, and it was exactly how we planned the colour scheme and I think it brings out the design really well too.
I think the contest was really successful and there were just an overwhelming amount of entries. Thank you to everyone who submitted a mask.</td></tr></table>