The majority of his Maple Leafs teammates had showered, dressed in their suits and were back on the team bus, but captain Dion Phaneuf laid on an exercise mat in a hallway deep in the Canadian Tire Centre late on Thursday night, twisting his body into a bunch of painful-looking stretches.
The 28-year-old Phaneuf had just played in his first pre-season game of 2013, a 3-2 Leafs win against the Ottawa Senators in the nation’s capital.
Fittingly, Phaneuf, a cruncher of ice time under coach Randy Carlyle, was on the ice for a Leafs-high 23 minutes 37 seconds, paired for much of the night with rookie Stuart Percy.
Some veterans will grumble about the tedious nature of training camp, but Phaneuf isn’t one of them.
Eight pre-season games and 18 days of camp will be history by the time the final Leafs roster practises in preparation for the Oct. 1 opener.