The NHL season is about to kick off and that marks the unofficial end of summer. The official one may have been a few weeks back, but this is the one that matter.
This summer, I spent much of my time in Canada, around Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. If you follow my 365 Project, you’ve seen a lot of the places I’ve been.
Running around Canada, I wanted to see some of the rinks. Most of them were devoid of ice, melted down as Canadians take a break and hit the golf course. But here are some of the rinks I saw.
First stop, Abbotsford, BC. This is the great burden of Abbotsford, built to attract a minor league team. They got their team, the Abbotsford Heat, which lasted 5 seasons and had to be subsidized by the city.
As with any photo on this site, click it to make it bigger.
Local rink in Chilliwack, BC.
The Prospera Centre, home of the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs, and former home of the WHL Chilliwack Bruins.
Kamloops has a few sheets of ice, starting with the downtown Memorial Arena.
Unfortunately, the ice was gone, in favor of box lacrosse.
The curling club was a few doors down, also shut down for the summer.
Off to Interior Savings Centre, home of the WHL Kamloops Blazers.
The main office.
They let me in to the team store to buy a puck, and I roamed around a bit taking pictures.
Next, I headed up to Prince George to see what’s up there. I was told it was just air pollution, but that isn’t true. I also found an awesome five-pin bowling alley next to a bookstore. So there.
This is the CN Centre, where the WHL Prince George Cougars play. They are attached to the Kincenter, which has three more rinks. They were painting the lines when I was there.
Next up was Edmonton, where they had this guy hanging out.
Edmonton is, of course, home to Rexall Place. At least, they are for one more year, when the new arena should be completed in the Ice District.
Since it was summer, you would expect there would not be any hockey. Oh, you would be wrong. They were hosting rookie camp when I got to town, so in I went.
Rookie camp meant one thing to the crowd. No, not hot dogs. This guy. Connor McDavid.
And with that, my camera battery died. No, really. Really professional of me, right? I was using my point-and-shoot camera, so that’s why the images look as tinted as they do.
Luckily, a few days later, they had a rookie game. So back I went.
But that will wait. I know, it’s a bit of a tease, but Rexall deserves a little more attention than this post can provide. Soon.
I didn’t see much in Edmonton. It was a hot summer there, and I wound up with other things to do there. On the way from Edmonton to Calgary, we stopped in Red Deer to see where the WHL Red Deer Rebels play.
That’s ten rinks already. And I still have 11 left to go. Part two, soon.