Several Canucks got back on the ice in fantastic fashion earlier this month at 6000 feet above sea level.
Elias Pettersson, Thatcher Demko, Alex Edler, and Zack MacEwen were joined by former Canucks Troy Stecher and Jason Garrison to play shinny on a frozen lake in the mountains north of Vancouver. Or, as Alberta's NHL Hub City pitch video would put it, just outside of Edmonton.
The entire experience was captured in a photo essay for the New York Times showing the magnificent mountain views and stunning glacial ice. The spectacular setting was made possible by chunks of glacier ice floating to the top of a lake, then remaining like icebergs sticking out of the lake when it froze over.
The current and former Canucks were joined by a few other players for some four-on-four hockey.
While the New York Times claimed that Demko played goaltender for both teams, all of the photos show Demko in an Anderson .Paak hoodie and long pants. In a group shot, there's another unnamed goaltender suited up in Demko's gear.
Olympic gold medallist Patrick Chan was also along for the ride, as well as his wife, figure skater Elizabeth Putnam. Chan was there to play hockey with some NHL stars, but managed to pull off some figure skating moves in his hockey skates as well.
Unsurprisingly, Pettersson was the last one off the ice. While the rest of the group grew cold and was ready to leave, Pettersson wasn't ready to call it a day.
"When's the next time I'll be able to skate at the top of the mountains?" he said, which was probably just an excuse so he could keep practicing.
There's something bittersweet as well seeing Stecher still spending time with his now-former teammates. As the Spice Girls once said, "Friendship never ends."
The excursion was made possible by helicopter pilot and social media influencer Bradley Friesen, who has pulled off similar stunts with the Canucks in the past. One of those stunts led to Daniel Sedin unwittingly flying with a convicted drug smuggler, Edward "Skeeter" Russell.
A year before that, Friesen took Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi up to a frozen lake to go skating in a spectacular setting. That time it was Baertschi riding with "Skeeter."