Jason Bull is a 37-year-old police officer from Perth, Australia, but this week he is a rookie at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. Bull will be blogging about his experiences from the Gretzky camp for NHL.com throughout the week:
LAS VEGAS -- Well, my first game at the Gretzky Camp is in the books and despite the 5-2 loss to a team that included guys like Cliff Ronning and Kelly Chase, the experience is one that will sit in my memory bank forever.
I didn't score, but I did come close to getting a few and nearly set up some goals as well. A goal or an assist would have been nice, but there are more games still to come.
I was even thinking about dropping the gloves with Chase since he kept tugging at my jersey and my arms to slow me down. But, yeah, I thought better of it and decided for my own self-preservation and the fact that I want to play in the games Wednesday that I'd better keep my mitts on.
Chase thought it was wise, too.
"It's your fantasy," he told me.
No, no, it's not.
We had a good laugh about that one. Even with Chase grabbing my jersey, it was so much fun out there. We had some contact in the corners and you find yourself looking up at each other and laughing.
It was golden.
One of my favorite moments was walking into the locker room and seeing my jersey, with my name and my number, hanging up in front of my locker. It makes you feel like a pro.
My number, 54, is extra special to me because it's dedicated to my grandfather, who I lost a few years back. He was born on the fifth of April, hence the 54.
Getting all geared up and going out on to the ice for warm-ups was fantastic.
Shooting the pucks around, it's another time that makes you feel like a pro. Then you see the real pros skating out onto the ice and it's just phenomenal. It's dreams coming true. I won't stop smiling for the rest of the day.
I wrote here Monday that each day here keeps exceeding my expectations, each day is better than the last. That's true again today.
Getting out there playing the game, passing the puck around, trying to put that puck in the back of the net against the pros is just an awesome feeling, an awesome experience.
Watching the pros out there, how they skate with the puck, move it around, move themselves around the ice, I realize that it's just a shame I never got to watch them play live in person in the NHL. I was never given the chance growing up in New Zealand, the U.K. and then Australia, but man those guys still have the skills. I was just in awe sitting on the bench.
Even when we were rotating the pros in and out of the lines, I was sitting on the bench, between our coaches, Mike Barnett and Mike Keenan, who was really just giving us jabs, and it was surreal. I was like, 'I'm fine right here just watching these guys play, this is amazing.' I didn't care that I was sitting the shift out.
There were so many special moments. Now I've got to go phone up my brothers to tell them about it.
I spoke to them Monday, told them about Wayne coming out, skating up the ice on me and me thinking how I could try to take the puck off of him and really didn't have a chance. They just can't believe it. They're thrilled for me. They're living the dream through me.
So I'll call them up again this afternoon, probably around 3 here so it's 8 o'clock in the morning their time. I've got a lot to tell them.
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