The usual suspects were on the ice Wednesday at UBC, with two noticeable changes.
The first stands at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds and is the definition of intimidating: Milan Lucic. The Vancouver product skated with 15 others during an hour ice session where drills were minimal and it was all about scrimmaging.
The second change, subtle as it was, revolved around Canucks prospect Eddie Lack. The brute Swedish netminder, who was signed as a free agent on April 6, was sporting a new mask for the first time. The paint had barely dried on the new cage before Lack took it for a test drive and he’s not only happy about how it feels, he’s over the moon about how it looks.
A mixture of Canucks green and blue and some silver, the mask features the franchise's orca on the front right and a Manitoba Moose logo on the left. The chin is green with STORK written in blue writing; Lack’s nickname is stork, as in the bird, because of his long limbs. The back of the helmet is the best part as Lack has a picture of his father, Jan, proudly wearing a Canucks hat – the perfect personal touch.
Canucks newcomer Victor Oreskovich has been turning heads during scrimmages, partially because he’s green and fans aren’t accustomed to him, but mostly for his hardnosed style of play.
It’s clear from having watched Oreskovich skate only a handful of times that he’s going to put up a major fight for a spot in Vancouver’s bottom six. He didn’t have long to speak, but here’s what transpired:
DJ: Are you getting used to being in Canucks colours?
VO: It’s been awesome so far, it’s a great group of guys here and the training has been fantastic so far. Everyone is really working hard in the weight room and on the ice so it’s great to be here early getting ready for camp.
DJ: How did you view the trade to Vancouver then, and how do you view it now?
VO: I was ecstatic to come to a place like Vancouver with a city and an organization like this. It’s a tremendous honour to come to an organization that is really trying to build towards a Stanley Cup. I was thrilled at the time and as camp approaches I’m getting even more excited.
DJ: Any butterflies? (yes I asked this, no, I’m not proud of it)
VO: You know what, not butterflies, but I’m nervous. There are a lot of guys competeing for a few spots so camp is going to be tremendously difficult. I’m really looking forward to that challenge and hopefully a great season.
DJ: Where do you see yourself slotting into the team?
VO: It’s going to be tough to crack the roster, that’s my first goal. I’ll play any role they want me too, but obviously I think I’ll be a bottom six guy that really wears the other team down, I’m a really physical player and a player who is really tough to play against. That’s my role.
DJ: What excites you about this team?
VO: Just the amount of talent here and how excited everyone is. Like I said, they’re trying to win a Stanley Cup and that’s something you dream about from the time you’re a little kid. There’s a lot of talent here and as guys filter in, you get more and more of a taste of how the team is going to be. My level of excitement is huge and I’m really looking forward to everything to come.
VO: Thank you, I read all your writing so it was an honour to be interviewed by you. (okay, that last part never happened…)