Michael Buble's Christmas wish came early.
The three-time Grammy Award-winning singer, fresh from his appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend, had what he called the "greatest day" of his life when he joined his favorite team, the Vancouver Canucks, prior to Tuesday's practice at Rogers Arena.
After signing a one-day contract with the Canucks, he was on the ice for about 15 minutes -- including a face-to-face shootout showdown with goaltender Roberto Luongo. With the players tapping their sticks on the ice, Buble bore down on Luongo and shot blocker-side but hit the post and fell into the boards -- triggering laughter from everyone.
"I had way too much fun," said Buble, a native of Burnaby, B.C. "To get to do that, I guess, is every fan's wish. I got a smile on my face that won't be going away anytime soon. It was a blast."
Buble, 36, played hockey as a youngster and still has ties to the sport as a part-owner of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. He's a longtime Canucks fan who did color commentary on a broadcast in 2009 and has rearranged his schedule to see playoff games. Buble just gave his favorite team a shout out on his latest album, "Christmas."
On "Santa Baby," track seven of Bublé's fifth studio album released in late October, Bublé altered a few of the words to reflect what he truly wants from Santa Claus. Instead of the line I'm filling my stocking with a duplex, and checks. Sign your 'X' on the line, Bublé sings fill my stocking with Canucks tix, for kicks., Throw me on the first line … out of respect Bublé contacted the song’s original writers to get the green light on the changes.
"Christmas" is currently the top selling album of any genre on the Billboard Top 200, and Bublé admitted his Canucks lyrics are probably causing a lot of confusion.
"Right now there's close to 6.2 million people and only a few are going to know what I'm talking about," he said with a laugh. "The rest aren't going to have a clue."
But after his turn on the ice, he said he'll stick to music.
"I thought I'd perhaps be the next Alex Burrows, but it turns out I'm crappy," he quipped.
Rookie Cody Hodgson spent time chatting with Buble on the ice prior to the practice.
"We just talked about how he saw my grandma on TV at the Leafs game," said Hodgson, who said he has a lot of Buble's albums. "It was cool to meet him and it's not every day you get that."
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said the team enjoyed having Buble in the dressing room and for his short stint on the ice.
"It was a different moment from a busy schedule for us," Vigneault said. "I think the boys enjoyed having him in the room. He's a big Canucks fan and a great ambassador for Canada and for Vancouver. When he came in this morning, we gave him the opportunity to showcase his skill set and he did. It was good."