Well almost, this used to be part of Russia.
We had a decent day of travel, delayed flights, lots of different check in points, but we are excited to be here! We have a police escort (as you can see), that's always fun. We had to add another hour to the time difference, so I think that makes it 10 hours now.
The guys were excited to settle in at the hotel and relax. The next few days are busy, then we'll take a walk around the city and see all the sights. The hotel is very nice, I think it's accommodating seven teams from the tournament. It's big and has all the usual facilities. We have run into Hansen and Jensen and were able to chat with them and possibly make sure our personal wager still stands!
For us, there definitely is a language barrier, so it’s a good thing we have a team host available to help us out. We practiced and saw the rink we play at (there are two game rinks in the tournament) and it's brand new. Fancy. Our trainers did such a good job of making it feel like home by placing pictures of previous Canadian teams and logos around our room and in the hallways. Small things like that make a difference and guys feel more comfortable.
Today we named our captains and my roomie, the guy I shaped and molded into a true professional and leader, was named team captain: Kevin Bieksa. More like the other way around – and it's still in progress! Our assistants are Kyle Turris (Tur) and Jason Chimera (Chimmer). These guys have a great presence and everyone on the team looks up to them and listens to what they have to say. I look forward to following their lead for the rest of the tournament!
Oh, and we also named Nazem Kadri (Naz) our team DJ for games, which is perfect cause it's my type of music!