NHL defenceman Tyson Barrie stopped by the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre on Aug. 14 to sign autographs, take photos and practice drills with players, ages six through 14, at a local summer camp.
The 28-year-old Langford native told Black Press Media he had been home since about June, for the summer. He stopped by the centre around 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon to support his grandfather Len Barrie’s long-running hockey college, which runs camps in the summer as well as fall and winter.
“I always try to get out and help my grandfather out with the hockey school,” said Barrie, who was drafted in 2009, 64th overall.
Barrie said he has not missed a camp that he remembers. He attended the schools as a young skater, and worked as a junior instructor before he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche.
“I started going to these hockey schools as soon as I could skate,” he said. “Being able to come in and work on the other side of it and have kids get a little excited to work with me, I feel honoured to be able to do that.”
After signing hockey sticks, lunch bags, pucks and other paraphernalia, Barrie practiced drills with the young players and also planned to scrimmage.
The right-handed blueliner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the upcoming season. Although Barrie said Denver was home, he added that he is excited to move to Toronto.
“I think they have as good a shot as anybody to win the Stanley Cup this year,” he said of his new team. “Hopefully we can get something done in the playoffs.”