Just the sight of black and gold is enough to make Tanner Glass sick to his stomach.
A day after the Boston Bruins raised their Stanley Cup banner to the rafters, it was inevitable that Glass would be asked to relive one of the toughest moments of his sporting career.
And the look on his face told you what it was like to be on the losing end of a 4-0 shutout in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final last June when Glass was still a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
“I didn’t watch (the banner raising) at all — anytime I see black and gold I just turn the channel,” said Glass, who was the first player signed in free agency by the Winnipeg Jets this summer.
The sting of defeat still seems fresh, but there were plenty of lessons to be learned on the journey to the final, that’s for sure.
“It was super tough,” said Glass. “To get that close was just so hard. There was never a point where we didn’t think we were going to win. It was never in our realm of possibility that we weren’t going to win it. It was pretty tough to take and it took a little while to get over.
“But when you look back, we’re pretty proud of the year we had. It comes down to one game and they played better that night than we did.”
Finishing one win short of sipping from Lord Stanley’s mug provides plenty of motivation for Glass going forward.
“For sure,” he said. “It was a short summer and now that we’re getting closer to the season, you want to get back there and getting another taste of it. Playing in the playoffs is another level and you want to get back there.
“It’s tough to put your finger on what I learned but you just feel like a better player because of it.”
After spending two seasons with the Canucks and being part of a group that won consecutive Northwest Division titles, Glass understands the importance of trying to establish a winning culture in the early stages of the season.
“We have some really good players in here, with some guys who maybe haven’t had the success in the past few years,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any reason we shouldn’t be confident and think we can win each night.”
On a team that for the most part is lacking when it comes to post-season experience, having someone like Glass enter the fold is invaluable.
“It means a lot, that’s why we got him here,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “It’s hard to teach winning. You can teach it, but it’s better when players experience it and then they can pass on the experience to their teammates in the room.”
With the Jets opener set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at MTS Centre, Glass can’t wait to get the next chapter of his hockey career underway.
“The last game I played in was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final and I expect it to be as crazy in here as that was last year,” said Glass, who will open the campaign on an energy line with Jim Slater and Chris Thorburn. “I’m just looking forward to getting that first shift out of the way and settling into the game. When the building is rocking like that, it can create some nerves.
“It’s been a long time coming. Now it’s just time to play.”
Amen to that.