Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Personal Camp Reflections.

What a great weekend both personally and professionally.

I can proudly say that I have survived my first Western Hockey League Training Camp, and now the fun really begins.

For the players, they get to learn systems and come together as a team.

For the coaching staff, they get evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the squad and address them before September 24th.

For the management team and scouts, some difficult decisions must still be made.

For the broadcaster, a truly enjoyable weekend spent with a truly classy organization.

I can't thank the management team, coaches, and the scouting staff for treating me as an equal this weekend. I got to know a lot of great people, hear a lot of great stories and watch a lot of great hockey this weekend. And this is before any 'REAL' games.

Before I share some personal thoughts on the hockey-side of things, I also want to thank the fans. I appreciate the fact that you paid your $2 to come out on a Monday night and support the Prince George Cougars. This season is an important one in many respects, and you all deserve a pat on the back for showing your Cougar Pride tonight. I appreciate all of my new Twitter followers, and I sincerely look forward to interacting with you all this season and beyond.

Now to the hockey stuff:

- While Drew Owsley is the undisputed number one goaltender with the Cougars, the battle for backup is just getting started. Tyler Santos, Brett Zarowny and Devon Fordyce (in my opinion) have an equal shot at making this hockey team. One of the more interesting storylines for the pre-season will be seeing which of these three netminders can rise to the occasion and earn their spot. Either way you slice it, the Cougars will have a solid backup option for Owsley.

- The management is thrilled with the crop of young players that were in attendance this weekend, and rightfully so. Offensively the likes of Alex Forsberg, Chase Witala, Jarett Fontaine, and Jordan Tkatch gave fans a great glimpse of the offensive future of this hockey-team. Defensively Jordan Harris, Marc McNulty, Raymond Grewal and Joseph Carvahlo did not look out of place at all. That's not all. I'm sure I could single out every single player that played in tonight's Intra-Squad game and rave about a certain part of their game. For time's sake I'm not going to. The future of the Cougars is brighter than ever.

- Defensive depth is going to be a real strength for Prince George this season. Martin Marincin and Cody Carlson will eat up minutes while Dan Gibb, Shane Pilling, Josh Smith and Jesse Forsberg (when healthy) give this team ample depth. Lets not forget players like Dane Phaneuf, Linden Springer, and Marc McNulty who Coach Dean Clark called "The Most Improved Player" at camp. Jordan Harris, Joseph Carvahlo and Raymond Grewal and Michael Mylchreest show strong promise as well.

- Up front this team has a ton of offensive potential. With Brett Connolly off to Tampa Bay Lightning camp sooner than later, it's up to the likes of Charles Inglis, Spencer Asuchak, Nick Buonassisi and Troy Bourke to carry the load offensively. Brock Hirsche, Taylor Makin, Taler Thompson and John Odgers all showed glimpses of offense this weekend, and that will need to continue during the pre-season. Add the likes of Alex Forsberg to the mix, and you've got a team that can not only handle itself in the tough areas, but you've got enough talent and poise to score some goals. The real key for this team will be to establish an identity without Brett Connolly and if they do get him back, it's an added bonus.

I'm excited, the staff is excited, and the fans should be REALLY excited about what lies ahead for the Prince George Cougars in 2011-2012 and beyond.

I'm off to bed. But please feel free to leave your comments! Your readership and support of this hockey team is greatly appreciated.

All the best,


1 comment:

Calgary Hockey Fan said...

Glimpses of offense...what were you watching? Tayler Thompson had had 4 or 5 goals! Odgers racked up a few points as well. Give a bit more credit to hard working guys like Thompson and Odgers!