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My Camp Experience: Day 22

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers Training Camp is underway and dozens of players are battling for a spot on the team. Follow rookie Taylor Chorney on his quest to make the big club.

TRAINING CAMP: DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 13 | DAY 15 | DAY 19 |
DAY 22

ROOKIE CAMP: DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7

Friday, October 3, 2008
Taylor Chorney has a laugh during on-camera player interviews earlier this week.

It’s been another few days since I wrote so hopefully I can remember what I’ve been up to. I think the last time I wrote was Tuesday afternoon. That night I watched my first game from the Press Box and there’s free popcorn up there so that was great. There are also ice cream sandwiches but I didn’t have any of those because I was really full from dinner.

Yesterday we had our first practice at Millennium and it was pretty fun driving over in our equipment. We put all our gear on and then I drove over there with Pecks and he got us there safely to my surprise. I had shotgun in case you were wondering.

Other than the practices and stuff, I’ve just been resting a lot because it’s getting down to the wire. The weather has been so nice that I’ve been out to a few bonfires just listening to music and hanging out with a few of the guys.

This is going to be a really short entry because I’m on my way to the airport. This will be my first road trip and I’m really excited. I’m looking forward to the plane because I’ve heard that it’s pretty awesome. Apparently Jen wrote about it in her blog but I haven’t read it. I guess we can compare notes.

-- Taylor

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I can’t believe it’s been almost three weeks since I started writing this blog. Sorry I haven’t updated it in a while but I had a pretty uneventful weekend and I didn’t skate at all so there wasn’t too much to say.

Having Saturday and Sunday off was really nice and I wasn’t expecting that at all. When I started at rookie camp I was expecting to not have any breaks at all. But having those two days off really helped everyone regain some focus as the pre-season starts to wind down.

On those days off I got a chance to hang out and relax with some of the boys and I spent a lot of time sleeping and just recovering from all those games last week. I watched a lot of TV and hung out a bit at the hotel and then at Ethan’s house. I should have been doing some laundry because I’m quickly running out of clothes, but maybe I’ll get some of that done later this week.

I had a good skate yesterday and I’m looking forward to watching the boys take on the Flames tonight. I won’t be playing so I’ll probably be watching from the press box so at least I’ll have a great view of the game.

-- Taylor

Friday, September 26, 2008
Taylor Chorney has a brief discussion with a linesman during Thursday's pre-season game vs. Florida at Rexall Place. Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

I didn’t write again yesterday but there wasn’t much to write about other than getting ready for games and playing. I’m not doing too much else these days. Hopefully I’ll have some stuff to say on Monday after spending two days off here in Edmonton. I don’t know what I’m going to do this weekend but I’ll probably just spend time with a few of the boys and check out a bit of the city maybe. Maybe I’ll go see a movie. We’re not skating at all so I’ll have lots of time to relax.

Yesterday’s game went really well and it was great being in the locker room after that win. Even though it was pre-season it was great seeing all the boys and the coaches happy. I’m pretty happy with how I played and I just crashed after the game because the three games in four days finally caught up to me. I’m still a bit tired now but the weekend will help with that.

I’ve just been doing my gameday routine the past few days and that doesn’t include anything too exciting. Just wake up and have a bite to eat before coming to the rink for the pre-game skate. Yesterday I went to Lino’s with a few of the boys and that was really good.

I started watching a new show called The Wire because I wrapped up the second season of Lost. It’s about gangs and drug trafficking in the hood in Baltimore. It’s really good actually and I’ve already watched three episodes. I’ll probably go through a few more this afternoon.

Hopefully I’ll have some good stuff to write about on Monday.

-- Taylor

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The team hits the ice for a short skate before taking on the Florida Panthers Wednesday night.

I kind of forgot to write yesterday but it was a pretty boring day anyway so I wouldn’t have had much to say.

I just got back to the hotel after the morning skate and I feel pretty good. Yesterday I didn’t do much so it was nice to have a bit of a day off. I just had a bit of a workout and then relaxed for most of the day. I’m down to the last episode of the second season on Lost so I might wrap that up this afternoon before my nap.

Last night I went to Earl’s with a few of the boys so that was nice. We watched a bit of the Canucks game which felt a bit different because you feel like you should be out there but you’re not. Hux (Adam Huxley) was begging for a shout out in the blog today so I have to mention that I watched his two tilts and that he did a really awesome job out there.

I slept in a bit this morning because I was really tired even though I didn’t do much yesterday. I think that makes it worse sometimes. So I just grabbed some banana bread and a coffee at Starbucks and then came to the rink.

Oh I forgot to mention that I went to the mall for the first time yesterday with Schrempy and his buddy. It reminded me of the Mall of America because it’s so big. I’m not a big fan of those big malls though because by the time I get from one store to the next I’m winded and my legs are tired. I picked up a few things like some jackets to wear to the rink. The West Ed Mall was the highlight of my day for sure.

Other than that not much has been going on for the past day or two. I’m talking with my dad every few days just to let him know how things are going. My little brother is excited about playing football right now and I think his hockey starts up in another week or two so I’m sure he’s having lots of fun back home!!

-- Taylor

Monday, September 22, 2008
Taylor Chorney battles with Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in the first pre-season game of the Oilers season. Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

Just got back to the hotel after my first NHL pre-season game and I think it went pretty well. Before the game I wanted to make sure that I was ready to go so I got a good sleep last night and was well-rested going in. I didn’t want to over think things and I had a good nap before the game so that helped with that. Then I grabbed a quick coffee and came to the rink.

Going into the game I’m pretty sure I was more nervous in the pre-game skate than I was in the actual game. Once I got going, I felt pretty good out there. The coaches encouraged us to jump up in the play so that made me feel more comfortable. When you’re playing with such good guys, there’s always going to be a pretty simple play with guys getting open, so there were a few adjustments but I felt pretty comfortable overall. It would have been nice to win our first pre-season game but it was fun.

I grabbed a quick bite to eat after the game and then came back here. I’ll probably watch a bit of TV before hitting the sack. Last night I watched Dallas and the Packers play but I think it’s too late for football tonight so I’m not sure what’s on. It should be a pretty uneventful night.

I will write some more tomorrow.

-- Taylor

Sunday, September 21, 2008
Taylor Chorney represents Team Blue in the Joey Moss Cup on Sunday, September 21 at Rexall Place. Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club.

I just got back to the hotel after the Joey Moss Cup and I had a really fun time out there on the ice. Our team came out on top 6-2.

I felt pretty good out there and playing with Visnovsky makes my life pretty easy. I just pass the puck to him and let him do his thing. Yesterday I was still a bit nervous because it was my first skate at Rexall, but today felt a lot better.

It was also nice to play in front of a crowd again. Fans here are known for being really great so it feels pretty cool to have them around. I can’t imagine what it feels like when the building is packed for a real game. That would be really special.

Last night I had a nice big steak at Ruth’s Chris and kind of relaxed for a bit with a bunch of the guys. I went with Ethan, Sheldon, and some of the younger guys like Cogs, Gagne, Nilsson, and Brule. I got to bed pretty early and crashed hard at about 11. I was pretty tired but got the chance to sleep in this morning, so that was really good.

Some of my buddies are asking why I always say what I had for breakfast but I think you just can’t ignore the most important meal of the day. This morning I took a break from the eggs over easy and had scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and a bit of granola and yogurt. It was really good as usual.

Then I came to the rink and loosened up on the bike while watching the Ryder Cup. During the game I could tell that the speed was up and everybody was playing to win. I’m sure it will be even more intense tomorrow when we take on Vancouver. The building will probably be rocking even though it’s an exhibition game so I’m really looking forward to that.

-- Taylor

Saturday, September 20, 2008
Taylor Chorney watches scrimmage from the bench during his first on-ice day of Oilers Training Camp.

I just got back to the hotel after playing in my first Training Camp scrimmage. The first period was a bit rough because we were double shifting but I felt better in the second. There’s a couple things I look back on and wish I could change but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I was playing with Visnovsky mostly and so that made my job a bit easier because his passes are always right on the tape and he’s always available to be open. But I noticed that the puck moves around a bit quicker compared to during Rookie Camp so adjusting to that was a bit harder for sure.

Visnovsky’s a great guy to learn from and he was giving us pointers on the bench so that was awesome. He’s definitely someone I could pattern my game after because he’s such a good defenceman.

As for the other team, that one line they had of Schremp, Cogs, and Cole was a good line. They kept us on our toes for sure. But we had a couple of good lines too so overall the forwards were making some nice plays. I only saw the last part of the first scrimmage this morning but I’m sure it was the same thing with both of those teams. Everyone is in great shape and ready to play.

I’m sure you guys are all bored with my nightly recaps because I always do the same stuff. Last night I went for dinner at this Italian place and that was really good. Then I hung out a little bit and didn’t really do much because I knew I had to rest up for the game today.

I’m pretty sure I’m playing in the Joey Moss Cup tomorrow so I’m really looking forward to that.

-- Taylor

Friday, September 19, 2008

I had a pretty slow day today because it was the day for medicals for the main camp and I didn’t have to do most of it because I did it last Friday. The only thing I had to do was a blood test and some functional testing.

Yesterday I got through a few more episodes of Lost and then went for a hot tub with a couple of the boys at the hotel. I got to bed early and got a good sleep because I had to get to the rink before 8:00 for the tests. I thought those were going to take a bit longer than they did but they only took about five minutes so I spent a few hours just hanging around.

Right now I’m back at the hotel and watching a bit of the Ryder Cup on TV. I’m not planning on doing too much tonight because tomorrow we’ll be doing a lot of on-ice stuff and I want to be well-rested and ready to go.

I think having rookie camp under my belt will make things easier because I’ve been on the ice a lot the past few days but there will probably be a few nerves because the vets will be out there too.

I think my Dad is more nervous than I am to be honest. I’ve been calling him pretty regularly to let him know how things are going and to calm him down a little bit. I’ve been keeping in touch with my whole family and they’re really interested in how things are going. They say that they read this blog all the time too.

-- Taylor

Thursday, September 18, 2008
Fellow rookie Cody Wild greets Taylor Chorney from across the locker room prior to taking to the ice for the final practice of Rookie Camp.

It’s the final day of Rookie Camp and I’m just hanging out in the hotel for a bit because I have the rest of the afternoon off. After I wrote my blog yesterday, I headed back to the rink for the Golf Tournament dinner. We had a great buffet with all the good stuff like pasta and veggies and a guy carving some beef at the end. I sat with my golf group and got to meet a bunch of the guys from the team so it was a good night.

I went back to the hotel after that, hit the hot tub for a bit, and then watched a few more episodes of Lost on my laptop. I’m a big fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm too, but I’m focusing on Lost right now. It’s tough to break away once you get into it. My roommate David Rohlfs is more into reading although he will watch a few episodes with me sometimes. I’m not a big reader, but I probably shouldn’t admit that here.

This morning I went to Ricky’s with Dubie (Devan Dubnyk) for breakfast and I had the usual eggs over easy which was delicious. Then we came to the rink and had a good practice. I just came back from lunch at Joey Tomatoes and now I’m back at the hotel. That was pretty much my day and I don’t plan on doing too much tonight.

I can’t believe Rookie Camp is already over and main camp starts tomorrow. Everything’s been going well so far so hopefully I can keep doing what I do best and stay in it as long as I can. This past week has been great and I’m looking forward to the next few days too.

-- Taylor


Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Taylor Chorney tees off in the Edmonton Oilers Alumni Golf Tournament at Red Tail Landing Golf Club.

We had our first full day in Edmonton today and I finally got to spend a little time outside which was nice. After I wrote my blog yesterday, I hopped on the bus and headed back to Edmonton with the other guys who weren’t playing the Canucks. The bus ride was pretty relaxing and I listened to my iPod. We also finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean and maybe something else, I think. I wasn’t really paying attention to be honest.

When we got into town we headed straight to the hotel and it was nice to relax for a while. A bunch of us headed to the casino, so that was pretty fun too. I got lucky and won a bit of money so that always makes it more fun. After a really great dinner I headed to bed because I had to get up early this morning to come to the golf course.

When we got to Red Tail I had some breakfast and then hit a few balls on the driving range. I did okay out on the course. I thought I had a good shot of winning some of those closest to the pin holes but I didn’t end up getting anything but that’s okay.

I don’t have too much else to write about because I was golfing all day. Hopefully I’ll have some more stuff to write about tomorrow.

-- Taylor


Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Taylor Chorney takes to the ice wearing the Oilers 'C' during the club's rookie game vs. the UofA Golden Bears on Monday, September 15, 208.

It’s the last day of the Rookie Tournament and even though I’m not playing tonight I’m looking forward our guys taking on the Canucks. This morning I visited a school here in Camrose and it was nice to get out in the community and meet some of the kids. Then we had a pretty intense practice this afternoon and ripped through some drills pretty fast.

After I wrote my blog yesterday we headed out to Edmonton for our game at the University. I listened my usual random collection of music on my iPod, including a little Guns ‘n Roses, Foo Fighters, Audioslave, and even some Dr. Dre for those rap fans out there.

We had a good game in Edmonton even though the second period was a bit rough. But we pulled together in the third and got the big win. I was actually really surprised to be named Captain for the game. I didn’t see the ‘C’ on my jersey until one of the guys pointed it out. It was a big honour for me and even though I’ve had the opportunity to do it a couple times before, it was obviously my first chance to do it for the Oilers so it was a special night.

It almost felt like a playoff game because it was so intense. It meant a lot for both teams and there was lots of pride on the line I think. We were all pretty satisfied in the locker room after getting that win.

On the way home we got some Boston Pizza pasta and watched Pirates of the Caribbean on the bus. Then I watched one episode of Lost on my computer before heading to bed. It was Episode 7 of Season 2, in case you’re wondering. Already plowed my way through the first season and am chipping away at the second one right now.

I think I’d better keep up the breakfast updates, so I moved away from the omelet this morning and had eggs over easy on toast. It was actually better so I think I’m going to keep that going through camp if I can.

I also want to wish my brother Marcus a happy 11th birthday today! Happy birthday!!!!!!

-- Taylor


Monday, September 15, 2008
Taylor Chorney and his fellow Oilers rookies prepare for another drill during Monday's pre-game skate.

My first game is now out of the way and I feel pretty good about it. It was pretty exciting to see my name on the sweater when we first got to the rink. That’s the first time I’ve seen my name on an Oilers jersey so that was pretty cool.

I didn’t get nervous until I hit the ice. I was a bit shaky for the first half of the game and the puck wasn’t really going where I wanted it to. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to just jump out there and play perfect right away but as the game went on I started to feel more comfortable and everything fit together a bit better. By the third period I felt pretty good out there. It was my first ever exhibition game in a training camp, so I knew I had to be patient and stick with it.

After the game we had a little team meeting and went over the things we did well and the things we could have done a little bit better. Then we went back to the hotel and grabbed a bit of food and went straight to bed because it was getting pretty late.

This morning I had another delicious omelet before coming back to the rink for the pre-game skate. I think tonight will be a really fun game because there’s a lot of history and it means a lot to us and to them. We want to go out there and make sure we set the tone right away. Things felt pretty crisp out there this morning, so we’re feeling good heading into tonight.

I’m just about to take a bit of a nap before we head on the bus back to Edmonton for the game. The leaves are changing here in Camrose so it should be a really nice ride through the country. I’m looking forward to it.

I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the game last night. The fans were really great and it’s great to get that kind of support.

-- Taylor

DAY 4 AUDIO: Taylor Chorney with Dan Tencer 

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Taylor Chorney participates in Sunday's morning skate.

Today is a big day for everyone here in Camp. The Calgary guys are in town now and we’re all thinking about tonight’s game and for me, I’m trying to focus on playing my game and keeping things simple.

We got to relax a little bit yesterday afternoon and got to sleep in a bit this morning before having another nice breakfast. Then we got our legs moving in the pre-game skate. We worked on special teams and I think everybody is ready to go for the game tonight.

I’m not that nervous right now, but I’m sure that once we get into the rink later this afternoon and see our jerseys hanging up, the nerves will kick in. It won’t really feel real until then, I think. That will be a new experience for a bunch of guys, but it’s still just hockey and all the guys have been through similar situations before so it’s nothing to get too worked up about. We all know what we have to do and I’m confident in everyone on this team.

At the start of every season too there are a little bit of nerves when you first get on the ice, but once you put in a few shifts it’s easier to relax and get into the game.

I don’t think I’ll have time to write after the game because we need to be rested up for tomorrow’s skate and the trip into Edmonton. But hopefully I’ll find time tomorrow to talk about the game. I’m excited to get out there and play and to get a big win.

-- Taylor


Saturday, September 13, 2008
Taylor Chorney takes in Day 2 of Oilers Rookie Camp.

Today was pretty busy. I got a good night’s sleep and we all ate a great breakfast here at the hotel in Camrose. There was pancakes and bacon and fruit and I would say that it was maybe even better than Perkins.

After that we took the bus to the rink, did our group stretch and got on the ice for testing. It’s pretty interesting to go through all the different tests, but I think my best one was the 30-foot sprint because my starts are usually pretty good. It’s tough to say though because I didn’t see any of the scores. I’m sure everyone did really well otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

Then we had a normal practice, which was more typical of what happens during the season. It’s a bit weird at first to skate with guys you’ve never skated with before, but everyone catches on quickly. We have a good group of guys and everyone has worked hard to get this far.

After that we had some lunch and then I went to an autograph signing here in Camrose. It’s nice to be able to see a bit of the town and meet some of the people. The kids are always fun at autograph signings.

Away from the rink, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my roommate David Rohlfs. I didn’t know him before but he’s a really good guy. And I know a bunch of the other guys from development camp and college, like O’Marra and Lergy. It’s been a good time so far.

-- Taylor


Friday, September 12, 2008

Taylor Chorney tackles the Wingate Anaerobic Test on Day 1 of Oilers Rookie Camp.
I’m not really sure what I’m going to write about, but I guess I’ll start by telling you about Day 1 of Camp. I got into town on Wednesday and it was nice to have a day off before everything started. Today started off with a nice wake-up call at 6:15 in the morning! I was pretty tired, but we came to the rink and did the standard medical stuff, like heart rate, visual tests, the dentist and all that fun stuff.

After that we went into the fitness testing which was pretty challenging to say the least. We started out with vertical jumps and simple stuff like that, and then we hit the bench press. The hardest stuff was probably the bike. We had to do the Wingate test and the VO2. I’ve done similar tests in college, but today was especially hard because the intensity is up and everybody’s watching. It also means a little bit more, so the pressure is there.

I’ll admit that I was pretty nervous this morning. I woke up at about 4am or so and had trouble falling back asleep. Then once we came to the rink I had butterflies in my stomach, but that’s normal and I’m sure all the guys were feeling a little bit of that. It’s a relief that the testing part is over, but the real tests start tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice and having fun out there. The summer was nice but I’ve been itching to get back into the competition. My goal is to play my game, not try to do too much and to have a good time, which is most important for me.

I’ve been asked to include some non-hockey stuff, but I can’t really say too much as I haven’t had the chance to see much of the city. Just walking around with the guys downtown yesterday. Hopefully this weekend goes well and I’ll see a lot more of the city this fall and winter.

Hope that was okay. I’ll write some more tomorrow.

-- Taylor

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