In the spotlight

Forget the red carpet, in Vancouver we roll out the black mats, at least for photoshoots anyways.

Newcomers Nick Bonino and Ryan Miller had a few full-gear promotional photos taken Tuesday; loading bays four and five at Rogers Arena were transformed into a glorious studio complete with spotlights, umbrella lights, white background, Plexiglas and duct tape.

First up was Bonino and from the looks of the photos, he’s a mean cat. Raised brows, soul-piercing stare, snarled lips – not to be messed with.

The reality of our new 26-year-old forward, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the trade for Ryan Kesler this summer, is that he’s already in the running to be named nicest player on the Canucks.

Bonino smiled as he walked in and admitted he’s not good at keeping a straight face, so the shoot might take forever and a day. Then local photographer Devin Manky started taking shots and similar to puck having been dropped for a game, Bonino changed gears in an instant.

He nailed it, shot after shot and 10 minutes later he was done. “I had to really focus,” he chuckled, walking out.

Enter Ryan Miller.

Slick hair. Big Smile. Mountainous height. New gear.

Miller, who signed with the Canucks on July 1st, looked like a mix between Optimus Prime and a three-year-old in a tight snowsuit in his stiff new gear and he moved with the grace of a newborn deer, but that didn’t stop him from rocking the photoshoot.

Look left. Look right. (Everywhere I look I’m, standing in the spotlight – not yet! #LionKing) Miller stood tall and he made exaggerated saves with ease, this was not his first rodeo.

The only difference between the photos of Miller you see here and the final product will be his mask, which arrived Wednesday and had to be shot separately. Sleep tight, the Canucks creative department will work their magic to flawlessly get it on Miller.

Here’s an exclusive first-look at the mask.

Photoshoots, workouts, players skating - #isitOctoberyet? No, but it’s starting to feel like hockey’s back in a hurry.

-Derek Jory