Professional hockey player Darcy Hordichuk is a first-time father, having welcomed son Braden Walker Hordichuk on Sunday, February 22nd. Not due until March 8th, baby boy’s early arrival caught everyone off-guard! “The team was in Ottawa when I found out that I needed to go home, so I had to fly out that day after I received the call,” Darcy, a 28-year-old forward for the Vancouver Canucks, blogs on the team’s official site. “It just happened so fast…it’s definitely a little shocking.” Regardless, wife Lisa was a trooper throughout her twelve hour labor, Darcy shares.

Braden — weighing in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces — is also thriving. “He’s…healthy, and that’s all we could want,” Darcy says. For now, the couple are caring for their son in shifts but Darcy admits he isn’t above playing “the hockey card” to beg off now and again. “As soon as I get home, it’s my turn again and I don’t mind at all,” he adds. “I think I’ve held one baby in my life and now I’m holding this guy all the time, trying to learn and trying to be a father.” He’s also thinking ahead…to a possible career in hockey! Jokes Darcy,

Braden wasn’t the only new arrival for the Canucks last week, however. Darcy’s teammate Jason LaBarbera welcomed son Ryder on Wednesday, February 25th; He is the first child for the 29-year-old goaltender and his girlfriend Kodette.

Thanks to CBB reader Brooklyn.