Quinton Howden celebrates a goal against Swift Current. Jeff D'Andrea photograph.
Quinton Howden is just like the rest of us: he is waiting for labour peace in the National Hockey League and he has no idea when — or if — it might come.
Of course, the 20-year-old left winger has a lot more at stake than the average fan.
As a lockout looms, Howden is keen to start his professional career, but doesn’t know when or where that might be.
“We just hear the outside things and what our scouts are telling us. Basically I’m just like everyone else, waiting to see what happens,” said Howden after skating with the Moose Jaw Warriors Monday afternoon.
“I’m just waiting for things to unfold.”
Howden will skate with his former team for the rest of the week before returning to his home in Oakbank, Man.
“I’m here to try to get some more ice because there’s not a lot else I can do but keep training,” said Howden who was one of the last players to leave the ice. “It’s good to be back. I miss this place.”
A Florida Panthers first round pick in 2010, Howden was hoping to try to crack their line-up this season. He may not get a chance to try to impress.
“Obviously I want to go to that (NHL) tryout, but if this is the way things are then this is the way they are,” said Howden. “I’m not going to change anything. My mentality is the same.”
Last year Howden played with the Warriors until April 27 and then joined the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League for four playoff games. While Howden enjoys the extra break following the longest season of his young career, he admits it’s odd to begin September and not be in camp yet.
By this time last year Howden had already been at Hockey Canada’s national team development camp and a Florida Panthers rookie camp. So far this season he has been one Panthers development camp in the summer.
Now he has weeks to fill before he heads to San Antonio to attend their AHL camp starting Sept. 30.
“Camp is later, so it’s a bit different, but I’m really excited to go there,” said Howden.
“There’s nothing I can do. As far as I know I’m going to the AHL and I just have to play it by ear.”
While the lockout should make the competition stiffer in San Antonio, Howden expects to be playing pro hockey this season.