Joseph Cramarossa was in a reclined plastic chair overlooking an infinity pool, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with three minutes until the 2017 trade deadline.
He didn’t get a call from the Anaheim Ducks letting him know he’d been placed on waivers, so he wasn’t expecting a call if someone claimed him.
Alongside Ducks defenceman Josh Manson, Cramarossa scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. “I left Twitter because I got a text and of course that’s when news dropped. Manson turned to me and said Vancouver! I was so excited.”
Cramarossa’s agent called a few minutes later confirming the news, asking when his NHL bye week vacation to Mexico was over. “The Canucks want you in San Jose asap. You’re playing tomorrow night.”
From lounging in the sun to meeting a room full of new teammates, “it’s definitely been a fun 24 hours!”
The 24-year-old packed his sombrero and flew to San Jose through Los Angeles, getting in at 10 pm Wednesday night. He was introduced to his new brothers in arms Thursday morning at breakfast and outside the dressing room pre-practice he laughed about how the deadline played out.
“At least it was at the end of my trip,” he laughed. “But seriously, it’s good to know a team wants you. The last thing I wanted was to go down to the AHL, so my attitude now is to prove myself here and make the Ducks regret putting me on waivers.”
He chose number 26 – “a big number for a big last name” – and despite four days off coming in to Thursday’s morning skate, was flying.
Cramarossa, who hails from Toronto, Ontario, played with Brendan Gaunce in the OHL and Chris Tanev in Junior A. He was quick to catch-up with Gaunce, swapping stories throughout the morning, but he has yet to talk one-on-one with Tanev. “I was 15 or 16 when we played together, but he was older. He wasn’t very talkative back then, maybe he is now.”
Speaking of Gaunce, he also had an interesting countdown to the trade deadline.
Walking through Yaletown during a team day off in Vancouver, Gaunce’s phone rang. It was Stan Smyl, Canucks Senior Advisor to GM & Director of Player Development.
“I was his name come up and thought I’d been traded. I didn’t want to answer it.”
When Gaunce did finally pick up, Smyl merely told him he’d been sent down to the Utica Comets and also recalled to the Canucks; the paper transaction means Gaunce is eligible to play for the Comets in the AHL playoffs.
“You picked a great time to call Stan,” Gaunce laughed. “He came over to me on the plane, laughing, and apologized. I didn’t think it was as funny. I told him he owes me a new pair of underwear!”
Cramarossa is fitting right in already and judging by the response we got on Twitter when acquiring him, we’ve got our hands on a hardworking, fan favourite.
We’ll take great care of him, Ducks fans!
Derek Jory – @NoJoryous