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Day seven - Wrapping it all up

by Darren Archibald / Vancouver Canucks

After all the hype and anticipation, we finally tackled the infamous Grouse Grind. I don’t think it was as bad as it sounds – I thought that it was just a really good workout. Perhaps it was more of a stroll than a “grind”? I would absolutely do it again though.

We did the hike in teams of five or six guys – our team captain was Peter Andersson (the Grind ‘vet’ of the group), Cody Kunyk, Marc Zanetti, Ponthus Westerholm, and Henrik Tommernes. Our time was clocked after the last guy reached the top and touched the timer. We ended up finishing in about 49 minutes. I think Taylor Matson’s group finished first with just over 45 minutes. Everyone’s time were pretty tight though.

The Canucks have a tradition at camp to give out jerseys to all the guys at camp and they did that today too, which was such a nice touch and good way to finish off the week. I have two blue jerseys at home already with the orca on it so I get to add another one to the collection but this one is a stick and rink so that’ll be a nice keepsake for my mom, I’m sure.

The week has been a blast and I’m so glad to have met such a great group of guys. It was a good week to work on skills a bit and learn lots of new things as well. This is by far the best development camp I’ve been to. Besides the hockey part, the activities and all the presentations have been so well done.

My favourite activity of the week was probably the chip and putt at Stanley Park yesterday. We all had a really good time there. We were split up into groups of four or five – I played with Sebastian Erixon, Cody Kunyk, and Mike (one of the scouts). Sebastian is an unbelievable golfer. I guess he golfs a lot back home so he did really well. I almost had a hole in one – I put it about a foot from the hole and it rolled right by it – oh well, maybe next time.

Because Zanetti and I knew each other before camp, there was maybe a small competition on Twitter when my follower count started to increase. He was quite a ways ahead of me to start the week but I’m definitely catching up. I started the week at around 400 and now I’m at 818. The fan support has been incredible. He’s pushing 900 so I’m almost there. By the time I go home, the goal is to try to get 1000, can I do it?

Vancouver’s the only place I’ve been on the West coast so I’m really look forward to visiting Penticton for the tournament in September. I’ve been in the Traverse City tournament the last two years so I’m familiar with the format. I’m definitely excited to get going with that. I think it’s good to be able to get all the top prospects together. They’re a lot of fun and it’s a good preparation for going into main camp. You’re on the ice everyday during the summer but unless you play games, you’re not going to get in the same form.

For all the fans who haven’t seen me play, I’m excited to show them what I have. I’m a pretty big boy so I’m going to be bringing a pretty big physical presence to the ice - be a little pest out there and hopefully score some goals.

As far as the rest of the summer goes, I’m staying out here for a while longer to work with the trainers here. Hopefully, I’m going to be turning into a machine for the next few weeks. Then, I go home for two weeks and just continue to train and make my last rounds to see friends and family before heading back here. This is far enough to be considered a vacation so I don’t really have much else planned right now.

It’s been an honour to be blogging for the Canucks development camp. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope the fans enjoyed it as much as I did and since it’s over, I’ll have to keep the Twitter account going so fans can still follow me and see what I have to say.

I want to say thank you to all my friends and family back home who have been reading too.

And finally, I have to give a mention out to Mr. Stan Smyl. He said I better mention him in the blog so I have to give him a shout out and say thank you again for flying all the way out to Ontario to come see me play last winter. I’m so happy to be part of this organization.

Thank you everyone. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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