Ask the countless NHLers who have tried to track him down on the ice since he entered the league in 2007-08 and they’ll tell you, catching him is near impossible.
On land, it’s a simpler task.
I caught up with Raymond during Vancouver’s recent Eastern road trip – on Wednesday, January 12th, in New York City to be precise – to spend a day with the Canucks forward.
As you’ll discover, from morning alarm to channel surfing before lights out, Raymond had an eventful day in the City That Never Sleeps.
9:00 a.m. (EST) – Alarm goes off
“I’m roommates with Alex Burrows and Alex isn’t a get-out-of-bed-right-away kind of guy. I grew up on a farm so I get out of bed because there’s a lot to do. I started my day with a shower while Burr was still trying to get his butt out of the wrapper.”
9:25 a.m. – Breakfast time
“While Alex was getting ready, I went down and ordered us some breakfast. I had a couple of over easy eggs, some hash browns, toast and an orange juice; we typically get the same breakfast so it makes ordering easy, except Alex gets a coffee, he likes his coffee.”
10:30 a.m. – Arrive at Madison Square Garden (part of dress and drive)
“We did this dress and drive last time we were in New York as well. It’s always interesting getting on the bus loaded in your gear and heading back with your gear on, but it’s fun. You only come to New York once a year, so you really take it all in.”
11:25 a.m. – Arrive at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
“It’s neat, it’s not very often you’re practicing and you look over and there’s windows facing outside and the water. It’s a little adjustment to the eyes, I know the goalies aren’t huge fans of it.”
11:30 a.m. – Practice
“I got a good skate in and we worked on some things for tomorrow night’s game. Against the Islanders we got the points, but we weren’t at our best so we have be sharper for the Rangers.”
1:13 p.m. – Return to Madison Square Garden
“It’s a pretty special building. It’s got some neat history in it and just when you’re walking in you see all the pictures of all the stars that have performed and past players from all kinds of sports, it’s got a special feeling. The building is so old and everything is great, this is definitely at lot of the guys’ favourite rink to play in.”
2:00 p.m. – Visit NHL head office
“It’s my second time going to the league office, I was lucky enough to go there two years ago and it’s something special, we only come to New York once every couple of years so to go there and see all the guys involved is great.”
2:20 p.m. – Interview 1 (with Billy Jaffe)
“We did two interviews, the first was a little bit more on the college side, why I took that route and that sort of thing, and Kevin and Ryan were with me so they talked college too.
Watch part 1
“Then we did a hot stove lounge, if you will, and it was fun, it was more casual interview, we talked about the lighter side like your roommates and that sort of thing.”
Watch part 2
2:40 p.m. – Interview 2 (with Adam Kimelman)
“He asked me about the shootout spin move from the night before and how I came up with it. I told him that it’s something I had practiced, but it wasn’t until the game against Detroit (January 8th) that I decided I was doing it next time I had the chance. It’s a high-risk, high-reward move and it worked.”
Read: Raymond's spin-o-rama goal a product of confidence
3:00 p.m. – Meet with Brendan Shanahan, NHL executive
“That’s the first time I’ve met Brendan, I never played against him, when he retired I just broke into the league. We talked about everything totally off the record, just about the game, the winter classic, hits, the new all-star format and that sort of thing. It’s neat for myself, he’s a guy I watched growing up and I was definitely a fan of so it’s neat to sit down and talk with him.”
4:00 p.m. – Meet with Bill Daly, deputy commissioner and chief legal officer
“It was in this big conference room with probably 30 or 40 chairs, whatever it was, and there was only a few of us, but it was neat as well. He asked us a little bit about some league stuff, the winter classic, the 24/7 HBO series and some of the more business side of the game and it was good. If you have any questions to ask those guys, they’re the right guys to ask.”
4:30 p.m. – A little R and R
“I needed a few minutes just to relax from a pretty busy day. I watched a little TV and then got ready to head out for a nice dinner.”
6:00 p.m. – Dinner at BLT Steak
“I went out for dinner with a friend, we had a nice steak diner at BLT Steak (106 East 57Th St.) and I had never been there before, it was good. I had a fillet and it was a very nice cut. We enjoyed a nice dinner, sat there for a couple of hours and talked some business. I had a good time.
9:00 p.m. – Chill time
“We watched a show called Bully Beatdown on MTV. These guys get bullied and then they get paid to fight an MMA guy in the ring. It’s tough to explain. It’s an alright show, just what I needed before shutting it down.”
11:00 p.m. – Lights out
“Big game tomorrow, there’s nothing like playing the Rangers at MSG.”