Buble hits ice with Canucks
Michael Bublé’s NHL experience lasted a grand total of about 15 minutes Tuesday.
Even so, the Burnaby, B.C. native and diehard Vancouver Canucks fan called it the greatest day of his life.
Having signed a one-day contract with the Canucks, Bublé briefly took part in the practice at Rogers Arena, highlighted by a breakaway attempt on Roberto Luongo.
With players tapping their sticks, the world-renowned crooner skated through the gauntlet, took a blocker-side shot, hit the post, and then fell over.
“About a couple inches lower, I would have had it,” Bublé said with a laugh afterward. “I got a smile on my face that won’t be going away anytime soon. Perhaps (I could) be the next Alex Burrows, but it turns out I’m crappy.”
Asked what he would change if he got another opportunity, he said, “I would have faked the shot and gone backhand, try to go upstairs.”
Either way, the 36-year-old left soon after, with a full set of equipment courtesy of the team and a lasting memory.
Bublé, who performed on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, has always been a vocal Canucks fan. The Vancouver Giants co-owner was a guest colour commentator on Team 1040 during a February 2009 game and has previously altered his schedule around for the Canucks, even cancelling a Connecticut show in June to watch Vancouver play in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
In his recently released Christmas album, he altered the lyrics to the song “Santa Baby”, changing it to, “Santa buddy/Fill my stocking with Canucks tix, for kicks/Throw me on the first line/Santa baby.”
As for Tuesday’s arrangement, it was set up in just a few short days by the team. And it had the three-time Grammy Award winner still beaming afterward, even as he took a shot at Canucks naysayers.
“Getting to do that is every fan’s wish,” Bublé said. “I was just talking to my manager Bruce Allen there and just saying, you meet these guys and if you’re a fan of the team and you’re a fan of who these guys are, if the truth is out there than there’s no way that these guys are the most hated team in the NHL because they’re class acts. It’s just those ugly stories that the media keeps telling back East.”
While all the Canucks players got to meet Bublé, it was Cody Hodgson who may have had the most face time with the singer/songwriter as the two were chatting on the ice prior to the practice.
“We just talked about how he saw my grandma on TV at the Leafs game,” said the rookie, who claims he has a lot of Bublé’s albums. “It was cool to meet him and it’s not everyday you get that.”
Same goes for Luongo who didn’t know what to expect with Bublé bearing down on him during practice.
“I was more focused on my play,” the goaltender said. “I didn’t know if I had to charge out at him or what. Fortunately he fell on his own. We obviously respect him for what he does and he’s the same for us.
“I think he was more excited than we were.”