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Outdoor practice in Regina caps off Sbisa's wild 48 hours

"Them picking me up shows that they see something in me." -Sbisa

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

REGINA - Over the course of his 504 career NHL games, Luca Sbisa has put a lot of miles under his belt.

But the last 48 hours have been an entirely different animal.

His season began on a professional tryout with the New York Islanders - the team he played nine games for in 2018-19. On Oct. 22, he was signed by the Anaheim Ducks and was placed on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to San Diego of the American Hockey League.

But before that could happen, the Winnipeg Jets claimed him.

It was an absolute whirlwind.

"I went from New York, to LA, went down to San Diego. Lots of plane rides and Uber rides and lots of hours on highways and stuff," said Sbisa, shortly after his first practice with the Jets. "I was in the medical office getting my physical done and then I got the call that there was no need for that because I'm going to Winnipeg."

Video: PRACTICE | Luca Sbisa

So the 29-year-old hopped back in an Uber headed for Newport Beach, where he still has a home from his time playing for the Ducks for parts of five seasons from 2009 to 2014.

"I hopped on a red eye. Flew through Minneapolis, got in (to Winnipeg) yesterday at about 10 am," said Sbisa. "I did my physicals and all that kind of stuff. Now I'm in Regina skating outdoors."

But it's all worth it, he says. Especially because being claimed means the Jets saw something in him.

"I'm excited to be here. Them picking me up shows that they see something in me. So it's up to me to make the most of it," he said. "It's a team I got to play against quite a bit over the last few years and know what this group is all about. It's nice to get going here."

When he gets his opportunity, Sbisa plans to play his brand of hockey, which includes some physicality.

"I've always been a guy that takes a lot of pride in one-on-ones and coming out of the corner with the puck," he said. "I'm not going to change anything in my game. I'm going to try and play my brand of hockey and I think that's why they picked me up."

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