My Olympic journey has officially begun. I left New York Sunday night around 10 p.m. and arrived in Vancouver late. Antero Niittymaki and Ryan Malone were on the same flight. It’s not easy traveling to many places and playing back-to-back games, but I’m finally here now and I’m excited to be back in the city where I spent the first 11 seasons of my career. I have a lot of great memories here and feel very lucky to represent my country in the same place where I began my NHL career. Even though this is my fourth Olympics, I’m still extremely excited to get going.
I am looking forward to seeing everybody and have to say that it is an honor to play with such great players. Today will be the first time in quite a while that I will be in one place with all my countrymen for more than a couple of nights, so I am excited to share the experience with my teammates. The city looks great and I know we will all enjoy being here for a few weeks. It should be fun to meet some of the other athletes.
Like I said, it will be nice to take it easy for a few days, but then we must get to work. I hope to get the chance to watch Ryan [Malone] tomorrow as they begin the tournament. Team Canada will also take on Norway. Those games will give us a good idea of what the competition will be like this year. We play our opening game on Wednesday against Germany at 4:30 p.m. I think it will be a tough game, but I think we have a very good team. Too bad to see Holmstrom out, but we know that Franzen will replace him well.
I will be very busy, but I will keep you informed of experience and everything that is going on here. Thanks to the fans again for all your support. I will also be checking in throughout the tournament on tampabaylightning.com for updates and to let everyone know how it is going.