Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: johan hedberg
These days, getting a tryout with a NHL team is nearly as exclusive a process as signing a contract itself. And if there are any modest surprises on the roster, they’re usually the result of formal tryout contracts, like those which Owen Nolan and Todd Fedoruk signed with the Canucks this year.
The process is highly systematic to achieve the best results, both in conditioning the players with guaranteed roster spots and possibly promoting other players for the team, depending on their performance in training camp. As Stan Smyl explained in the Vancouver Sun today, it’s all about development, and we can assume it’s probably a more efficient and effective means of readying the roster, as compared to the past.
But this story he tells about a training camp incident some years back is the kind of thing I’d like to imagine happened more often:
Geez, time flies, doesn’t it? I can’t believe this happened nearly 5 years ago, but I think Vancouver fans will remember this story. From Marc Weber at The Province:
Chris Levesque lived every man’s dream when he suited up for the Vancouver Canucks in 2003, but that brush with the bigs also made it tougher to forget his own.
For all the fun and fanfare surrounding that day of real-life fantasy—plucked from studying on the UBC campus and thrust into the NHL spotlight—there was also an element of “what if?”
Levesque wasn’t just an emergency backup, after all. He was an emergency backup who came within a whisker of playing—famously working his gum on the bench while Johan Hedberg lay motionless after a first-period collision.
He’s now a sous chef in Vancouver with fond memories of that surreal experience. Back December of 2003, I wrote about Levesque’s brush with hockey fame, and with some envy…