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Behind the Lens: Player-Father Road Trip (Day One)

by Jeff Vinnick / Vancouver Canucks

Canucks photographer Jeff Vinnick joined the team for their four-day Player-Father road trip that takes them through Minnesota and Nashville.

Canuck Dad's will join the players on the team charter, attend both games, and have a chance to see the everyday off-ice NHL business.  This trip is a great opportunity for the fathers to meet all of the Canuck personnel, other fathers, and most importantly, gives them a chance to spend some quality time with their sons.

Jeff Vinnick has kindly agreed to share a few thoughts, and hopefully a slew of pictures over the next week as he captures action behind the scenes.

Minnesota, Day One:

I was quickly reminded why I moved from Saskatoon to Vancouver more than 17 years ago in an instant tonight upon our arrival tonight at dusk in Minnesota. Anyone from the prairies would know why as well. It's the cold and the wind that blows through you like you were a piece of gauze flapping in the breeze.

But complaining aside, it's that bitter cold weather that enabled me to play hockey every living moment of my childhood since I was two years-old. Whether it was the hours upon hours spent at our schoolyard rink at Georges Vanier or our league games at the infamous outdoor Weaver rink, all that hockey involved my father and all the help and support he gave me.

That is what this Canuck road trip is all about, the tribute to all the hard work and dedication from the fathers that helped make their boys the great hockey players that they are today.

Steve Tambellini brought a great idea to the team and invited the player's fathers to join their sons for this two game road trip in Minnesota and Nashville. Can any father even imagine the pride felt that these fathers must feel sitting beside their sons on a private jet on route to a game half way across North America.

I watched as Brendan Morrison got advice from his father on how to build an addition on to his family cabin; Trevor Linden and his father sharing dinner together 30,00 feet above the Rocky Mountains; Kevin Bieksa and his dad going head-to-head at poker and Curtis Sanford and his dad pouring over the hockey stats in the Globe and Mail. The best part of the evening was listening to Steve Tambellini warning Alain Vigneault at a team dinner at the hotel in St. Paul that he would have additional coaching help on this trip.

It's sure to be a momentous trip for all the fathers and sons that are here together. I'm even betting that with nearly 20 dads watching from the stands tomorrow night, our boys will play one hell of a hockey game.

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