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It’s no secret Patrik Laine’s a video “gamer,” so getting his reaction to the Vancouver Canucks players’ ban on the pastime during NHL road trips was a no-brainer Wednesday.
When a question was posed to Laine, centre Jack Roslovic, standing nearby, chimed in, “Terrible idea.”
Laine quickly replied: “Terrible idea. I agree with you, Rosy. I think they just needed something to blame after last year,” added the Jets right-winger, after practice at Bell MTS Iceplex.
Vancouver centre Bo Horvat said Tuesday his team has banned all video games on road trips, putting more of an emphasis on team-bonding activities.
“Yeah, that’s definitely a no-go on the road.,” Horvat told reporters. “No more Fortnite. No more bringing your video games on the road. It’s strictly team meals, team dinners and hanging out with the guys. So we’ll have to put an end to that.”
Vancouver was dreadful last season, finishing tied for fifth-last in the NHL, and went just 15-22-4 on the road.
“There’s better ways to spend time on the road, whether it’s hanging out with the guys in the room, going to a movie with the guys, doing stuff outside your room,” Horvat said.
Laine said he doesn’t just huddle in his hotel room and stare at a screen.
“I usually don’t play after, like, nine (p.m.). I just want to kind of go down and kind of prepare for bed. I think before that, you can play as much as you want, but there is still something else you can do. You don’t always have to play the whole day. You can maybe go outside once in a while if you want, but not too often,” said the young scoring sensation.
“I’ll usually eat pretty quick so I can go back for (video games).”
But he never forsakes dinner out with his teammates because he’s plugged in.
“No, no, no, they’re always mandatory, but I usually leave pretty quickly so I can go back and play. No, no, that’s not the reason,” he said, grinning. “They’re fun events, those team dinners. I guess Vancouver is going to have lots of them, but good for them.
“Yes, and everybody wants to come. Nobody wants to miss it. Obviously if you’re sick or something or you don’t feel good then (you miss), but everybody wants to go.”
If the Jets stumble to start the season, internal rules might have to be implemented, he said.
“We kind of made a deal that if we are playing like that, we can give up our PlayStations, not take them on the road,” Laine said. “But I don’t thing that’s gonna happen.”
The two Western Conference squads hook up three times this season, the first on Oct. 18 at Bell MTS Place.
Jets coach Paul Maurice said it’s a positive step each time players’ police themselves on internal matters.
“Good for them. You run your own room,” he said. “It’s always better when the players handle things that they need to. I don’t know how we would enforce that anyway.”
“You implement rules you think are important as a group, whatever they are, whatever your team is. When the players make those decisions it’s always good for the room. As far as the video games, I have no idea. I don’t play them. We’ve got a couple of guys that do. They’re pretty good players. It doesn’t seem to be slowing them down. So, however it goes is fine with me.”
Winnipeg begins the regular season Thursday against the St. Louis Blues and then takes on the Stars in Dallas Saturday.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).