Boudreau's Canucks training camp looks different to gruelling Green skates

Sep 24 2022, 1:53 am

Where’s the puking?

The exhaustion?

Players hunched over, if not lying lifeless on the ice?

We’ve seen none of that through the first two days of Vancouver Canucks training camp in Whistler.

That’s because there’s a new sheriff in town.

Travis Green’s training camps were the stuff of legend, as it came complete with what he called a “skating test” at the end of each session. It was, in reality, a bag skate — a requirement for players to skate back and forth across the ice to test their physical endurance.

Green’s bag skates were brutal — especially for anyone not in shape, or not knowing what to expect.

This is what it did to Olli Juolevi last year:


And Conor Garland:



But under Bruce Boudreau? There’s been none of that.

There have been plenty of battle drills, scrimmages, and high intensity throughout.

But while there have been brief conditioning skates, it came nowhere close to Green’s brutal test of endurance.

“Greener’s was real tough. That was one of the tougher ones I’ve ever been a part of,” veteran defenceman Luke Schenn said on Friday.

“Everyone is on pins and needles on how tough it’s going to be. You look at some of the guys laying on the ice last year, it’s not a look you want. That’s just reality, that’s how hard it was. All 40 or 50 of us could have been laying on the ice last year.

“So yeah, it was tough.”

Schenn is the oldest player at training camp this year, despite being only 32 years old. But he’s been around the block, certainly, with 863 career NHL regular season games under his belt, as well as two Stanley Cups.

Some might try to draw parallels with Green’s tough training camp and the Canucks’ poor starts the last two seasons, but that’s probably reading into things too much. Green’s Canucks were 9-3-3 in their first 15 games in 2019-20 after all. They also went 9-6-0 in 2018-19, and 8-5-2 in 2017-18.

So what’s the best approach? It probably depends on the team, and the coach.

Boudreau didn’t get the benefit of training camp to implement new systems last year, as a midseason coaching replacement. He has also been asked by management to improve the team’s structure.

“I think Bruce’s approach right now is he wants to get systems orientated, with him coming in halfway through the year last year, this is a good time to start implementing things off the start. And then you look at it, you’re into scrimmages and competing. Yeah, I think it’s good,” Schenn added. “Everyone’s been positive so far.”

There will be a skating test of some kind coming, Boudreau said, though it won’t be happening in Whistler.

So we’ll have to wait to see how it stacks up.

“Overall I saw some really good things out there,” Boudreau said after the first day of camp. “We saw a lot of guys competing hard. There was a lot of battles out there today. That’s what we wanted to see.”

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