The first sign of NHLers returning to the ice as Ceci and Pageau suit up for practice

Signs of life!

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How about some good news for a change?

Earlier today Ottawa Senators reporter Brent Wallace gave us all something to smile about. NHLers… in NHL gear… heading to an NHL practice.

Check out this photo of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci and New York Islanders forward J.G Pageau (both former Sens) heading into an Ottawa area rink for an informal practice:

And here they are skating:

You love to see it.

Both players are heading into the Minto Arena in Ottawa, a private facility that was recently granted permission from the Ontario to re-open, providing that no more than five people are on the ice at any time.

There are other strict codes of behaviour in place, including maintaining proper physical distancing at all times within the building.

Minto Arena general manager Scott Lawryk says that his rink has been booked solid since news of its re-opening went public. “It has been pretty busy from our standpoint and we’ve had lots of enquiries in the past 24-48 hours. A lot of skating schools are checking it out, along with the pro and minor pro players.”

“We have three ice surfaces and we’re only using one – the international ice surface – so it’s easier to maintain the distance. Five people on the ice shouldn’t be an issue.”

Players are asked to show up at the rink dressed and ready to go, hence why Ceci and Pageau are already dressed like they’re in Tyke or Mite hockey. 

Here’s hoping we see more and more of this in the days and weeks to come.

UPDATE: Even better, here are a few more NHLers actually skating: