....from Greg Harder (Slap Shots)
Pats camp news and notes (Day 1 put on ice)
By Greg Harder Fri, Aug 21 2009 Slap Shots
It wasn’t exactly a great start to training camp for the Regina Pats.
When the players arrived at Lumsden Arena on Thursday afternoon, they quickly noticed that the ice hadn’t completely set and was too soft to skate. As a result, the first two practices were cancelled.
It’s expected that Friday’s workouts will go ahead as scheduled — or so they hope.
Despite a lack of action on the ice, there were a few tidbits to collect from Thursday’s festivities.
— For the first time since Brent Parker became GM in 1995-96, the Pats didn’t have a single no-show for pre-camp registration. That means each of the 90 players who accepted invitations for camp made the trek to Lumsden and are slated to be on the ice Friday.
— There was a last-minute addition to Regina’s training camp roster, with 19-year-old LW Colton Graf joining the fold. Graf, a native of Watson, spent parts of two seasons with the WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins. In 2008-09, the 6-foot-0, 200-pounder had 12 goals and 33 points (second on the team) in 55 games with the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. He had one goal in 24 career WHL games.
— Garrett Mitchell received the team’s fitness award after testing was conducted Monday. The top five fitness scores belonged to Mitchell, Matt Strueby, Colten Teubert, Brett Leffler and rookie Brandon Davidson. It’s interesting to note that Mitchell and Strueby both worked out for the entire summer under the guidance of Pats athletic therapist Greg Mayer, who runs his own training business out of the Brandt Centre in the offseason. Other top showings included Matt Delahey (last year’s winner), Jordan Eberle and rookie Myles Bell. Linden Rowat was among the most improved. It’s obviously a great sign for the team when veteran players set the tone in terms of their fitness. We’ll have more on this in the Leader-Post in the coming days.
— Todd Strueby was in Lumsden on Thursday night and is expected to be back as a part-time assistant coach with the Pats. It’s still not official — there are some availability details to work out because Strueby is just starting a new position with the Regina Police Service — but head coach Curtis Hunt made it clear that he wants Strueby back in the fold. As well, Ryan Cyr is returning as the team’s goalie consultant. Cyr and Strueby both worked on Hunt’s staff two years ago and continued their roles last season. They’ll be the lone survivors from a purge that cost head coach Dale Derkatch and assistant Terry Perkins their jobs.
— It’s still being kept hush hush, but I’m told the Pats will be wearing newly designed jerseys this season. Watch for the new uniforms to be unveiled on Sept. 9 when the Pats play host to the Brandon Wheat Kings in their home pre-season opener.