As the Summer of 2015 draws to a close and NHL players start to migrate back to their respective cities in preparation for training camp, it’s time to look back at the at their off-seasons and make outrageous assumptions about how they spent their time with only social media to guide our opinions.
For the Vancouver Canucks, the last few months have been controversial to say the least. But this isn’t an article bemoaning Jim Benning’s decision making abilities (although I may take a few shots here and there). Lord knows there are enough of those floating around. The whole purpose of this is to scour the internet for photographic evidence that NHL players are just like us and also like to enjoy their summers.
So without further ado, I present to you my almost 10 minutes of research and social media creeping. Please keep in mind that I’m making most of this stuff up as I go along. Unlike last year, please don’t take this too seriously.
Nicklas Jensen has become the latest addition to a long line of Canucks prospects that have fallen off the face of the earth in recent years. Highly regarded after scoring 17 goals for AIK of the Swedish Elite League as a 19-year-old in 2012-13, Jensen hasn’t be able to match the considerable offensive potential he once displayed playing against men in Sweden.
Remember when Jensen-Gaunce-Kassian was the next Legion of Doom?
Sick and tired of being forgotten, Jensen has taken a new approach to summer training in hopes of landing a roster spot on the Canucks. Actually, he has adopted a multi-pronged approach to his summer training.
First, young Nicklas is trying to appeal to the Vancouver market by only wearing shirts with the names of Canucks Legends:
By doing so, I can only assume that he is trying to win the hearts and minds of Canuck fans so that we are firmly on his side when it comes to major roster decisions.
And if history has taught us anything, it’s that this always works.
Secondly, in hopes of improving his play in front of the net, Jensen is practicing his hand-eye coordination by using a toy that I literally thought had disappeared off the face of this earth 15 years ago.
I see some more goals in his future…
And finally, sick and tired of Strength and Conditioning Coach Roger Takahashi’s fancy conformist gym regimen that has gotten him absolutely nowhere, Jensen has decided to go old school with his training.
Hey, don’t knock it. It worked wonders for Rocky.
The Summer of 2015 is big for Jake Virtanen.
Despite coming off of a sub-par season with the Calgary Hitmen (but but but Ehlers…), Virtanen looks to have a legitimate shot a cracking the Canucks roster and giving us a season full of fourth line memories and murders.
But mostly murders…
Instead of documenting exactly how he is training for the upcoming season, Virtanen has been using his social media platforms for a different purpose.
Buying stuff and working for Abbotsford Chrysler:
And yes, he’s still referring to his car as a “whip”. Don’t worry; we’ll work on that.
He also bought a boat. That’s being pulled by a truck that I can only assume was purchased at Abbotsford Chrysler.
One last picture, just to confirm how happy he is with his purchase from Abbotsford Chrysler.
Now, I will admit that I was trying to be a jerk about the whole Abbotsford Chrysler thing and intentionally blew it out of proportion for my own amusement. But then this happened:
Come on by and meet me at Abbotsford Chrysler tomorrow from 10am-noon and check out the sweet cars while your at it !
— Jake Virtanen (@Jake_Virtanen) August 21, 2015
— Abbotsford Chrysler (@AbbotsfordDodge) August 21, 2015
Atta boy, Jake.
To be fair, Virtanen has also spent time being an awesome ambassador for the Canucks this summer. He may not be Nikolaj Ehlers or William Nylander, but this market is going to love him.
Hunter Shinkaruk will be entering his second professional hockey season after finishing on a strong note, helping the Utica Comets to the AHL Calder Cup Finals.
And although it’s pretty much guaranteed that Shinkaruk will start the season in the AHL, an impressive showing at training camp could lead to a call up at some point.
Being on the shorter side, Shinkaruk will have to focus on developing his core strength and balance in order to battle against the defencemen of the NHL.
Yep. Looks like it’s working so far. Although a couple bicep curls here and there wouldn’t be the worst thing…
But seriously, Hunter Shinkaruk works incredibly hard in the summer months and seeks out the best possible development programs to help him out. For a young guy still trying to make it to the show, Shinkaruk often finds himself in elite company in regards to his summer training.
Over the past few years, Shinkaruk has worked with Andy O’Brien who also happens to have Sidney Crosby, the world’s best hockey player, as his client. This summer, Shinkaruk has spent time in Florida working with renowned Performance Coach (and current Maple Leafs Skills Development Coach) Darryl Belfry. Belfry also trains the likes of John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Matt Duchene and of course, Sidney Crosby.
— Hunter Shinkaruk (@H_S_9) August 7, 2015
It’s great to see such dedication from a young hockey player.
And it’s also good to see that he knows how to relax.
Speaking of players that work hard in the summer…
The Subban brothers are notorious for gaining pounds upon pounds of muscle during the summer. I can also assume by pumping protein shakes through IV transmission.
And while this summer appears to be no different, Subban has also been pursuing his other passion.
Yeah, I couldn’t pull that off.
Subban has also spent some time with fellow Canuck prospects as they slowly filter back into Vancouver for training camp.
Also this jerk for some reason…
GET AWAY FROM HIM!
Bo Horvat is living the dream.
As part of a Vancouver Canucks initiative to somehow stay relevant during the dog days of summer where all we have sports-wise are the BC Lions getting trashed and the sounds of the Toronto Blue Jays bandwagon filling up, Canucks.com has been showcasing Bo in their “Postcards from Horvat” feature.
Check out Canucks.com for more of Bo Horvat’s “adventures” and terrible puns.
Alex Burrows doesn’t appear to have the most exciting summers and that’s probably a good thing considering Jim Benning is on a mission to slowly purge the old-guard of the Canucks. It would appear that Burrows may be the next one on the chopping block.
Don’t give Old Jim any excuse. Ask Tyler Seguin…
For his part, Burrows is remaining as optimistic as possible despite some interesting moves by his general manager.
So other than and being one of very few residents of British Columbia who don’t want to slam the team, Burrows made sure to wish his teammates well on their future endeavours.
Best of luck to @kbieksa3 with the Ducks. Really enjoyed playing with him for 11 years. Great player who always cared about winning and 1/2
— Alex Burrows (@aburr14) June 30, 2015
— Alex Burrows (@aburr14) July 1, 2015
Burrows was also busy participating in Dominic Moore’s Smashfest (great cause) and hung out with some tennis players.
— Philip Bester (@Besterphilip) August 6, 2015
That’s. About. It.
One of the newest and most maligned Canucks acquisitions this summer is former Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust. But like it or not, he is here for a least the start of the season and seems to be having no problems getting accustomed to the West Coast.
— Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8) July 19, 2015
It took him less than a month to bring his charity work to British Columbia. Love or hate the trade, it looks like we have a good human on our hands.
Here are some more highlights from some of the quieter Canucks:
Here’s Chris Higgins and Fin partaking in a charity fun-run. Judging by the second picture, I think Higgins took the race too seriously.
— Delta Police (@deltapolice) June 3, 2015
Speaking of competitive, here is a small snippet of Henrik and Daniel Sedin being forced into some friendly shenanigans by their employers. These videos are great because although at first you can tell they’d rather be doing anything else, by the end their competitive nature takes control and it becomes an all out twin war.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) August 20, 2015
Noted World War I buff (probably…) Yannick Weber isn’t too concerned with the whole “survival” thing which is why he felt the need to get into this plane-like contraption.
Keep an eye out for the Red Baron Yannick. He won’t care that you’re Swiss.
— Yannick Weber (@yanweber68) August 20, 2015
Did he score on the right goalie? It is Luca Sbisa…
— DavidSM_24 (@DavidSM_24) August 30, 2015
Dan Hamhuis and former Canuck Manny Malhotra recently teamed for a charity fishing event. Judging by the look on Dan’s face, Manny just cut one and Hamhuis is trying to hang on for dear life. It’s for the kids after all.
— WestCoastFishingClub (@fishWCFC) August 25, 2015
Hey look, Ryan Miller takes Uber! Just like the rest of us!
Grrr Monday’s suck…
There is more from Noureen DeWulf but it’s all pretty annoying so I’m not going to bother.
Instead, here’s Frankie Corrado with some of his crew. I’m assuming this was taken in Jersey.
And this is Frankie riding a duck. Because why not?
Despite needing to gain about 50 pounds this summer, Linden Vey found some time to get hitched up in what looks like a really fancy barn.
And finally, Ronalds Kenins putting out the vibe.
Has hockey started yet?