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China Games blog: Michael Del Zotto

Canucks defenseman enjoys flight to Shanghai, scooters, new teammate

by Michael Del Zotto / Special to NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Michael Del Zotto will be keeping his own blog throughout 2017 China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging.

Del Zotto, 27, is in his first season with the Canucks.

In his first entry, Del Zotto writes about his impressions of Shanghai, goaltender Zehao Sun, who was signed by the Canucks on an amateur tryout, watching out for scooters and the flight here from Vancouver.

The Canucks play the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports):

I had to pinch myself. I've never been on a flight like the one we had coming to Shanghai. I've made some flights to Europe but not nearly as long the trip here.

It felt like you were at home, but we were flying. I'm not sure how to explain it. You had your own pod, a 20-inch TV in front of you for watching movies. There was a nice lounge area with four or five tables where guys were playing cards. It was like hanging out at the hotel, there was so much real estate.

You see things like this in the movies and you think it's made up. This was not your typical flight when you are stuck in your seat with someone drooling on your shoulder. Marky [goalie Jacob Markstrom] was sleeping the whole flight next to me, but he wasn't drooling on me.

Thanks Marky, for sticking to your side.

The biggest thing I've noticed in Shanghai is a similarity to Vancouver with all the bike lanes. They have just a lot more here, and the bike paths are well-designed. There are scooters too, and people are flying on them. I don't know how there are not more accidents. Pedestrians don't get the right of way.

Video: Sights and Sounds: VAN holds 2nd practice in Shanghai

When I was 19 and in New York playing for the Rangers, it's a go-go-go city. You've got to be aggressive. When you get a chance to walk, you cross that street. Here, you don't cross that street.

I've seen people with their wife and kid on a scooter and people lugging stuff on a scooter. You don't see that at home. That's why I was so excited about coming here, because it's a very different culture. They do things a lot different and it's cool to experience that.

There have been so many cool moments on the trip already and one has been Zehao Sun. He has added some enthusiasm to our room. I loved it when he showed up to breakfast in a full suit. You can see how excited he was to be around the guys coming in.

Today, we got some shots on him and we had him lead the stretch at the end of practice, and he loved that too. For me, it was a touching moment to see the excitement in his eyes.

That's it for my first blog. More to come later.

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