Made it to rookie camp on Sunday. Got there at 9:30, drank coffee, and watched a coach I didn’t recognize set up pucks drills for one lone player, Joonas Nattinen, the 6’3″ Finn drafted by the Habs in 2009.
The drills kept Nattinen busy, and near the end he looked pretty beat.
But he sucked it up and kept on hustling and firing missiles into top corners. Like a good Habs prospect should.
Both rinks eventually became busy with players and coaches, and at 11 am, the red and white joined up, the refs and linesmen came out, and the puck was dropped. The place was packed, the players were all business, the game was nice and lively, and even though I had to pee, I didn’t move.
It was interesting to see these young bucks strut their stuff. Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, big Michael McCarron. Those of the 23 forwards, 12 defencemen, and 5 goalies in camp who suited up were such fine hockey players. I thought Greg Pateryn was excellent and poised, with a wicked shot. He played three games last year with the big club and I thought he was impressive on this Sunday morning. I also liked forward Stefan Fournier, 6’3″, 212 lbs, with a strong skating style that gets him from A to B in no time flat.
Best of all, I sat near the reserved area for the players’ parents and siblings, and to see such a proud bunch as these moms and dads warmed the cockles of my heart. Their kid is at the Montreal Canadiens rookie camp, out on the ice wearing the CH. How great is that?
Maybe someday the kid will play for the Habs. These parents were darn proud. And some of the moms were quite lovely!
That was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Watching future Habs. Finally seeing some hockey after a long summer.