British Columbia

Canucks fans get first look at team at open training camp

Oddsmakers don't have high hopes for the Canucks this season, but that didn't stop loyal fans from coming out to watch an open practice on Wednesday.

Coach Travis Green hustled players through drills with exhibition games just days away

Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson takes shots in a drill at training camp. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

Loyal Vancouver Canucks fans got an early look at this year's team at an open training camp session at Rogers Arena on Wednesday.

Fans watched from the stands as new coach Travis Green hustled his players through skating and shooting drills in the morning, with the exhibition season just days away.

"Of course we love them! They just have such great heart and we love watching them," said Pamela Schut, a support worker who says she's been a fan for 25 years.

But even she winced when the subject of last year's performance was brought up. The Canucks finished with the league's second-worst record and their own worst record for a full season since 1998-99.

Canucks fans look on as the players go through their paces at training camp. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

Going into this season, expectations are low from some observers.

Online sportsbook Bodog pegs the team at 100-to-1 longshots to win the Stanley Cup — tied for the longest odds of any team.

"I'm thinking positive," Schut said.

"I love that the twins are out there. They're great leaders, and I think they have some good young guys. I think it's going to go great."

Colleen Stewart was another fan who took in the action Wednesday. But for her, the stakes are probably a little higher.

Her son, Mackenze Stewart, is a Canuck prospect who is hoping to stick with the big club after his first year of pro hockey with the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League.

"His dream is just like every other one of those guys out there," she said. "He sees himself in the big lineup when the folks that make those decisions determine he's ready for it."

Canucks coach Travis Green shares a lighter moment with his players at Wednesday's open training camp session. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

The team said on Twitter that training camp sessions at Rogers Arena on Thursday and Friday would also be open to the public.

The Canucks' first exhibition game is Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.