Abbotsford Canucks

Wild Weather and Multiple Flight Changes: Getting Arshdeep Bains to AHL All-Star

February 21, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Abbotsford Canucks News Release

When Arshdeep Bains woke up to head to the AHL All-Star in San Jose, he couldn't have dreamt of what his itinerary would look like over those next 48 hours.

The Surrey native will remember his first AHL All-Star appearance for more than just scoring the game-winning goal and taking home All-Star Challenge MVP honours.

Sunday morning, he was supposed to catch a 9 o'clock flight to San Francisco so he got to the airport at 7 a.m. The flight was pushed back twice due to a state of emergency as an atmospheric river and strong wind gusts swept through the Bay Area.

Bains has a calm demeanor and is not one to get frazzled, so while he waited for word on his flight(s) he kept himself busy at the airport calling friends and family and catching up on some sleep.

With a new 2 p.m. flight time from YVR to San Francisco, he already knew he'd be missing the skills competition (fastest skater, pass and score and breakaway relay) but was still optimistic he would make the All-Star Challenge on Monday. By the time his 2 p.m. flight got to the Bay Area, the plane still couldn't land due to extreme weather conditions, so the plane turned around bound for Hollywood north.

He knew there were other All-Star that missed the skills competition and he wasn't the only one with travel delays which softened the blow. He was working with the Abbotsford Canucks front office staff to do whatever they could to get him there.

"I was a little bit disappointed, but I was just talking to our team service guy trying to figure how to get there," he said. "It would have been fun to be there but at least I was able to get there for some of it."

Bains' reached YVR by 5 p.m., grabbed his belongings from baggage claim and 13 hours after he started his initial voyage, he started the process over again - an 8 p.m. flight to take him to Los Angeles.

His eight o'clock flight went off without a hitch and he touched down in L.A. around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night. The number of flights that were re-routed to LAX due to bad weather meant it took longer to land and even though it was late at night, the number of people in the airport made it feel like it was midday.

Bains got to his hotel at 1 a.m. Sunday morning and got a few hours of shuteye before his 8 a.m. call time to take a five-hour drive to San Jose. He arrived at his hotel in San Jose at 2 p.m. and dropped his bags at the hotel and went straight to Tech CU Arena.

The 23-year-old arrived at Tech CU in just enough time to get ready for the All-Star Challenge.

Everyone's perseverance paid off as the Abbotsford forward scored the game-winning goal with 12.9 seconds left to give the Pacific Division a 3-2 win over the Atlantic Division in the championship game. Bains led all scorers with five points, two goals and three assists, in the 3-on-3 round-robin tournament.

"I think everybody should get that experience," Bains shared. "There were a lot of young guys, there are a lot of guys that probably have a bright future playing in the NHL and having time to not be too serious and have some fun was great. I'll never forget it and it was an awesome time."

Bains said it was extra special because his parents and family on his mom's side made it just in time to watch him play in the All-Star Challenge.

It was an unforgettable performance by Bains and un unforgettable story he'll be telling for years to come.

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American Hockey League Stories from February 21, 2024

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