I’m getting a little nervous and excited for tonight, not going to lie. There’s so much excitement going around Ottawa for the Skills competition tonight and we’ve got all the events and players arranged and ready to go. I will be representing Team Chara in the breakaway competition which is one of the first few events this evening.
Today, we’ve been exploring the town a little more and walking around the setting downtown where the NHL has the events set up. We talked about going skating on the Rideau Canal, but it was too warm here today so they had to close the canal down! I had a good nap around 2 p.m. today after going to the Rideau Centre shopping mall with my mom and friends.
A lot of people have asked me what moves I will try in the breakaway competition, but honestly, I haven’t made up my mind yet! My buddies that are here in Ottawa with me have been giving me their own expert advice, but we’ll see if I go with their tips. I’m probably going to keep it simple though, because as a rookie, you don’t want to try some crazy move and then fall down.
I think I will have some time to make up my mind on the way to Scotiabank Place, because it’s a half-hour bus ride out to Kanata and the rink for tonight’s events. Maybe I will get some helpful suggestions from my Team Chara teammates, who are all world-class players and have shown they know how to score on these awesome goalies!
Also heard the exciting news today that Columbus and the Blue Jackets will be hosting the 2013 All-Star Game! That's awesome and I can't wait for a cool event like this to be right in our backyard.
Alright, before I go, here’s the lineup I’ll be competing with and against tonight:
Ryan Johansen (rookie)
Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Goalie: Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Sean Couturier (rookie, Philadelphia Flyers)
Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks)
John Tavares (New York Islanders)
Goalie: Brian Elliot (St. Louis Blues)
Tune in tonight to the Skills event! It starts at 7 p.m. and you can watch it in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network.
Talk to you soon!
After a long day (but a fun day) yesterday, today has been a lot more relaxing here in Ottawa. You can really feel the excitement at the All-Star weekend building, and we’re just about 24 hours away from the Skills competition over in Kanata!
There was a lot going on yesterday with two flights, a hotel check-in, the fantasy player draft and making sure my mom and friends all arrived safely. Thankfully everyone is here and accounted for (my friend Jamie got here last night after the draft because he was flying in from Vancouver) and you should see their faces as they walk around town! Mom’s really excited and has been enjoying the experience and my friends are having a great time, too.
So basically, today has been mostly filled with hanging out at the hotel and around Ottawa. There’s so much to see and do that I don’t think we’ll have time to check everything off the list, but we’re certainly going to try. The coolest thing, by far, is seeing all the people skating on the Rideau Canal – it’s a river that runs right through the heart of the city and with it being so cold up here, the canal has frozen over and it’s a popular place to go skating. A lot of the major TV networks have their broadcast stations set up on the canal, with Rogers Sportsnet, TSN and others ready to cover the Skills and All-Star Game in the next couple of days.
Best part about today has easily been the laid-back aspect. It’s been a good chance for my group to wander around soak in the atmosphere. Just before dinner, I took part in the All-Star weekend media availability at the Westin Hotel and the first thing I noticed was all the media members here from all over the world! That lasted about an hour, then we went to get something to eat and since then it’s been a lot of TV-watching and putting today’s blog together!
Thanks again for reading today’s blog and check back to BlueJackets.com after the Skills competition tomorrow – I’ll be in the breakaway contest for Team Chara!
What a day!
It’s been a long day to say the least but I’m excited to be here in Ottawa for the All-Star Game. I’m honored to be selected to represent the Columbus Blue Jackets this weekend and take part in the Super Skills with some of the best players in the world. It’s cold and there’s snow on the ground in Canada’s capital, but it’s always good to spend time in a great city.
I guess we can start with this morning for my first entry. I got up and made sure I had everything packed (last minute, I know) for the trip to Ottawa and got to Port Columbus just before 11 a.m. Before I boarded, I had a Q&A with our website and got set for my first flight to Toronto. It was a smooth flight and I landed in Toronto in the early afternoon, and had a little time to kill before my flight from Toronto to Ottawa.
On the flight into Ottawa, I was on the same plane as Canucks rookie Cody Hodgson and Corey Perry from the Anaheim Ducks! My mom (Roz) and good friends Travis and Jamie are here from back home and they got to see a lot of the atmosphere right away.
As soon as I got off the plane in the Ottawa airport, you could tell it’s definitely All-Star weekend. There are signs everywhere in the airport and people welcoming you to the NHL All-Star Game. Ottawa is a bilingual city, so all of the decorations are printed in both French and English, which is pretty cool. From the airport, we caught a ride to the hotel where I checked in and got my tickets.
The hotel room service knocked on our door literally right after we got there, and they had a plate full of chocolate desserts for us! Mom came running down the hall to get her hands on them, so we didn’t get to taste many of them.
|Ryan Johansen (19) sits with fellow rookies at the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft.|
At 6:30 p.m., we got on the bus to take us down to the Hilton Lac-Leamy, the hotel that has the theatre set up for the fantasy draft. The best part of the bus ride was sitting next to Daniel and Henrik Sedin – being born just outside Vancouver, we were all Canucks fans growing up and it was great to see their faces. I think they were in shock! Finally, at 7 p.m., it was time to eat. I was starving all day and we got a nice meal in the ballroom before the draft began. Once 8 p.m. rolled around it was time for the draft! The rookies sat in the green room with all the players before they were picked, and thankfully I didn’t have to worry about going last! The rookies split up into two groups of six, and my group was selected to play for Zdeno Chara’s team at tomorrow night’s skills competition. It’s humbling and I’m proud to be here in Ottawa as a member of the Blue Jackets.
I got to talk to a lot of the younger players I know from junior hockey days, particularly Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers and Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins. After the draft was over, we headed back to the hotel where I am right now. I’m ready for some sleep and another exciting day tomorrow.
I’ll be blogging right here at BlueJackets.com all weekend long, so check back in the next few days for more on my All-Star weekend!
Thanks for reading and check me out on twitter @RyanJohansen19