Maple Leafs enjoy rare practice at an outdoor rink
The Toronto Maple Leafs did not have a chance to participate in the Winter Classic this season, but they still headed back outdoors this winter as they held their annual outdoor practice on Monday at Dieppe Park in Toronto.
The practice was free for fans to attend and featured 40 minutes of drills before players had a chance to chat with fans and local dignitaries in attendance.
And although outdoor ice can be temperamental at times, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said the rink was perfect amid Monday's cold but sunny weather. Via the Maple Leafs website:
"The ice was really good and I think for outdoor rinks that's got to be up there with the best of them," Phaneuf said. "That's a pretty world class facility for an outdoor rink in the middle of a city. For us to be out here to be able to practice and see the fan turn out, that's impressive. It's cold today and they wrapped around the whole building. It's an honour to be out here to be able to practice in front of our fans outdoors, it's special to us as players. We enjoyed the day."
Phaneuf was not the only one who enjoyed the outdoor practice. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier seemed to have some fun breaking out his outdoor apparel, and Nazem Kadri expressed his thoughts on practicing outside on social media later in the day.
The practice was a great way for the Leafs to start to wipe away any negativity from their most recent game, a 7-0 loss Sunday to the San Jose Sharks.