Day two at camp and the best part of today was seeing Nolan Baumgartner.
I saw him as I was walking out of the gym and it put a big smile on my face. I spent a month with him in Chicago and he was a really big part of my success there and helped guide me in the right direction while I was there. I really wanted to learn a lot from him and because he’s so approachable and nice that it was really easy to pick his brain about stuff and he’s all about helping the young guys out. Anytime you get to sit down and talk to him even if it’s for a minute or two, you’ll pick up something. He’s got such a positive energy about the game and developing - he’s a real leader.
I wish I had more time to get to know him more personally but one thing I do know is that he tans real well. He has a really good tan right now, which he says is because it’s sunny Winnipeg. I don’t see him as a tanning booth guy so I guess I have to take his word for it. It’s always sunny in Winnipeg with Nolan Baumgartner – his new TV show, look for it in the fall.
We had our usual workouts today and there was some pushing and shoving in the gym there with my partner Joey LaBate – it was part of the exercise we were doing. I think he got knocked off balance a little bit more than I did so whatever that means, I’ll leave it up to you.
We skated with Ryan again today. Something I didn’t mention yesterday but the reason I started training with Ryan this summer is because we had a really good connection at development camp last year that I made it a priority to make sure I continued to train with him. The skate was good. We did some testing, where you skate as fast as you can from the goal line to the blue line about five times. Then we got into some two-on-ones, which is something I’m more familiar with because it’s more of a defensive thing.
Looking forward to dragon boating later today. We did a lot of quick feet and footwork in the gym earlier so it’ll be good do some upper body stuff, get the arms pumping and the lats looking big. I didn’t even know what dragon boating was last year. I hope the rain holds off but I doubt it. Last year, everyone claimed that they won so everyone on every team said they won, so I’m going to say I was part of the winning team, that’s I’m going to say anyway. And I’d like to repeat as the champs so hopefully our team can step it up. I’m pretty new to this so maybe the dragon boat experts out there can give me some tips?
Chef David at Rogers Arena is going to teach us to cook something today and we’ll have nutrition session as well in the afternoon. I’m excited for that because I’m big into cooking The billets can’t always cook so I do a lot of it during the season. My parents did teach me a few things so I’m always making something. I may not always use the most conventional way of making something but they always taste good in the end – at least they do to me.
Pretty standard stuff like pasta and chicken but I’ve got a secret ingredient that kicks it up a notch. My grandma Theresa’s homemade pasta sauce. She does an alfredo and marinara but the marinara is to die for. She always sends me a couple boxes filled with jars of sauce so I’m never low on supplies. As for today’s session, I don’t know if I can say that I’m the best cook of the group but if I wore a chef’s hat, I could be the best looking. But if I had my grandmother’s sauce, hands-down, no one would have a chance.
Today’s music pick is a band called Framing Hanley, who tweeted at me once and I really like their music. They’re trying to get a new album going, I like them, and they tweeted me so they’re my pick today. They’re from Nashville and I think they might be Canuck fans. I’m going to recommend Warzone by Framing Hanley.