Brent Burns will give his color commentary from the road as he participates in Canada's National Men's orientation camp in Calgary. Thanks, Brent!
Monday, August 24
5:30 a.m. CDT
Sunday was a pretty lazy day getting packed for orientation camp. From the letters we received, supposed to be casual skate everyday and just learn what to expect if you make the team and hang out with the guys. I packed jeans, one suit, some shirts. Five days, so just one pair of underwear (just kidding). Already forgot headphones, got some books and good to go. This morning I'm flying out at 6 am so it was an early morning just sitting at the terminal with my eyelids falling down. I'll write ya' again later tonight.
Tuesday, August 25
10:15 a.m. CDT
Day one, very long long day. Wake up 3:45, fly to Denver, then small airplane to Calgary, pretty crazy with the media and people.... Then it was to the hotel for media pics and medicals. Got some Nike gear and went to some meetings, then off to the rink for first practice.... Very tough, I would say my heart rate was 180 the whole time. I think a couple days and I'll feel better but long layoffs hurt. Great dinner and shut down..... Today we are off to the rink at 9, had 8:30 meeting about logistics if you make the team... Then a golf outing this afternoon!
Wednesday, August 26
11:30 a.m. CDT
Felt a little better yesterday at practice. We had some drug meetings to learn about the differences for the olympics, then it was off to the course where Nike and Hockey Canada gave us some great custom balls (I love that stuff !!). It was a great course and I played with Chris Pronger, Ryan Smyth and Drew Doughty. We played nine holes and grabbed some dinner after..... Finished golfing around 9:00 and then crashed hard after that. This morning we got to sleep in a bit and skate later.... My roomy is Francois Beauchemin.
Thursday, August 27
2:30 p.m. CDT
Had a relaxing day yesterday with the later pracky (We're assuming practice).... Today, some meetings and then a big hockey Canada foundation dinner with around 350 people supporting the foundation for new rinks equipment and teaching. We had some great speakers. Pierre McGuire ran it, Steve Yzerman, and General Hillier talked about some awesome things, leadership: Ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things, great picture from our brave soldiers in Afghanistan. His speech definitly hit home with everyone. It was great too because the three National teams were together; the women's team and the sledge hockey team, which I just watched their practice after our pregame skate today and they are truly amazing too watch. Now it's just back to the hotel for a quick pregame meal (good ole pasta and chicken, it truly has begun) and then a nap and sold out game at the saddledome tonight! Lookin' forward to the game tonight!
Last season ended all too quickly for Brent Burns. Despite suffering a nagging shoulder injury earlier in the year, he was ready to help his teammates make a push for the playoffs until the ill effects of a concussion ended his season in March. After having shoulder surgery in late April, Burns has used an array of exercises to get in peak condition for both the upcoming Wild season and Canada’s National Men’s Team orientation camp.
For the past two months, Burns has made his “own little training camp” and to say he likes some variety to his workouts is an understatement. He even jokes that his new workout plan is derived from having to watch so many games from the press box.
“I do weights, a lot of swimming, jujitsu, yoga, biking – just those kind of things. I usually try to do two or three of them a day just to lose all that popcorn I was eating when I was hurt.”
Minus a few short trips home to Canada, Burns has spent the summer in Minnesota. He used the offseason to first rehab, and now get in top-notch shape for the fall. He recently started skating a couple of times a week in Woodbury to get used to being on skates again.
“It’s been a while since I was on the ice and I’m just making sure I’m injury free and in good shape.”
Before lacing up his skates, Burns decided earlier this summer that it was time to try something he’d been thinking about for a while: yoga. He’s now happily incorporated the exercise into one of his “training camp” options.
“It’s just something I’ve read a lot about. My dad has done it and told me how good it is for flexibility and core strength, so I decided to finally not be as flexible as a wooden door.”
While Burns is still partially limited as he recovers from surgery – he is not allowed to do any pushing motions with his right shoulder – he is also energized by the progress he has made.
“[My shoulder] still has some awkward times, but for the most part, it feels pretty good and I’ve been able to do everything. I’m in really good shape right now…I’ve been really watching my diet lately and it’s made a big difference and I feel really good.”
Burns is especially happy with his fitness level now that he has the opportunity to skate for his home country. He joins a star-studded lineup in Calgary this week at a camp that will be used to select the Canadian men’s ice hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
“It’s a pretty big thing for me and I’m really excited to do it. I think it’s a perfect warm-up for me for [Wild training] camp.”
While he only has a few days to showcase his talent in Calgary, Burns knows the short time will be filled with opportunities to learn from some of the best players and coaches in the world. Plus, he looks to parlay an impressive tryout with Hockey Canada into a stellar season with the Wild.
“I’m really looking forward to going there, getting the experience and skating with those guys and hopefully have a really good start to the year.”
In addition to hoping he has a successful season, Burns is eager to get on the ice and see all of the Wild’s offseason changes come together.
“It’s my first time I’ve ever had a different coach and different management. It’s going to be exciting; it’s going to be definitely different. I think the change is going to bring a lot of excitement to all the guys, a new blanket of enthusiasm for everybody. Hopefully, it carries over to games and we play as a solid team and win a lot of games for the fans.”
Author: Carly Peters | Special to Wild.com