Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping his own blog throughout the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games.
In his latest entry, Marchand writes about stocking up on Christmas gifts in Beijing, where the Bruins and Calgary Flames will play Wednesday (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, SN) in the second of two preseason games in China.
BEIJING -- Yesterday was fun.
After our practice was pushed back from Monday morning to Monday afternoon, we went to the Silk Market. It was cool to be out in the market, really cool to be out there, kind of out in Chinese everyday life and have an opportunity to do a little bit of shopping. It was a lot of fun. The whole team was there; coaches, trainers and everyone.
We all have a little bit of down time, where some guys want to rest. There have been some long days too. Some guys wanted to go there and shop, but there's other opportunities where we do want to all get together, and that's where we build relationships and bond on the road.
But most of us did go to the Silk Market, and it was a fun experience. I haven't been anywhere like it. Any time you go to foreign countries there's always things that are kind of like that, to some extent, but it's normally a lot smaller. It was actually a little overwhelming, the different things that were in there.
I did have a game plan going in on Monday, with a few things in mind, after [forward] David Backes and I went there the other day. We've only had an hour each time and that's not enough because by the time you get in there, start looking around, find what you want and they bring it up and everything, you're running out of time. I already realized I have to go back because just as I was leaving I saw a bunch of hunting gear that I had no idea was in there, so I've got to go back and clean up a little more.
I actually was pulled into the basement and put in this room and locked in the room for an hour. The lady asked if I wanted to see all the new clothing and everything they had in stock, so I said, "Yeah, sure." She said, "Do you want to come into our warehouse?" I said, "Yeah, take me to the warehouse."
So I walked with her to this elevator in this back room, went down -- it must have been three floors -- into the basement. We get out, it's all dark, back alleys. She leads me into this metal, beaten-down door. Opens the door and it's a closet. I thought we were going through there. We weren't. I walk in, she closes the door, locks it, calls somebody, and I was like, oh, man. I'm in one right now. She told me to sit down. I said OK. I sat down, but then she started to ask me what I was looking for, and brought me clothes and suits.
I was a little nervous about that one. Just me, all by myself. But she was a kind lady. It worked out well. I got out of there alive.
I can't get too detailed about everything that I bought because I got a lot of gifts for Christmas that I can't talk about. I got a few bags, backpacks, suitcases. I got some shoes. A couple watches. I'm stocked for like the next 15 years with gifts.
Everybody's getting something. Family. I got something for a buddy -- I saw something and I was like, well, he could use this. It was a good price. I got some stuff for myself, my wife, kids. Everybody made out pretty good.
The problem is once I bought suitcases, I figured I needed to fill them. I bought a watch case and then I was like, well, I might as well fill the watch case. When I got the suitcase, it was like, well, I like this suitcase so I'll get two. And then it was like, well, might as well fill them, so I filled them.
I was already in there negotiating with [Bruins president] Cam Neely, telling him I'll give him a watch if he'll give me another deal. But the good news is I should never have to buy another gift, ever again.