It’s one of the best times of the year for hockey fans all over the world. It is training camp eve. Most NHL teams hit the ice and begin preparations for the 2010-2011 season today. The Boston Bruins open camp on Saturday September 18, 2010 at 10:00am at TD Garden. The first two days of camp, Saturday and Sunday September 19, 2010, are open to the public. This is the main camp with veterans and the rookies, selected primarily based on their performance in the recently concluded rookie camp, will be vying for jobs with the big club in “The Show.”
The rookie camp was competitive and concluded with a two game series against the New York Islanders rookies in Boston. The players, who were expected to stand out, did so. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the series was the size of the crowds for each game. The first game attracted a crowd just shy of 12,000. The second game saw a crowd of 14,170. The message is clear. Sports fans in Boston are ready for hockey. They have forgiven the B’s for the colossal collapse in last season’s playoffs and with some of the moves made by general manager, Peter Chiarelli, led by his drafting forward Tyler Seguin, black and gold fanatics are looking forward to the drop of the puck at 12:00pm EDT (on Versus) October 9, 2010 versus Phoenix in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Boston rookies impressed by sweeping the two games from New York by scores of 5-2 and 2-1. Game two was an overtime win for the B’s. One scout, not affiliated with the Bruins, came away impressed with the depth of talent wearing black and gold.
“Tyler Seguin pretty much did what he wanted out there.” The scout said, “He’s NHL ready. His skating style resembles Sidney Crosby’s and his shot release is so quick, he’ll beat goaltenders before they know he’s let it go.”
The scout was also impressed with Jordan Caron. The 6’ 2” winger scored a hat trick in game one versus the Islanders rookies.
“He’s deceptively fast.” Explained the talent finder, “Caron doesn’t look like he’s going fast but he can beat you one on one in a foot race. He could play in the NHL this season also.”
The third player this eastern scout felt could have a chance at cracking the Boston line up was defenseman Steven Kampfer. The Ann Arbor, Michigan native stood out among blue liners with his skating and puck handling. He wore the captain’s “C” for both games against the Islanders.
“Kampfer is a better skater than Matt Hunwick, who has serious wheels.” Said the scout, “He controls the game when he has the puck and sees the ice really well.”
“Ryan Spooner, who scored the overtime winner in game two, is about two years away from the NHL.” The scout added, “He’s close but needs to improve his skating a bit.”
Seguin, Caron, and Kampfer, should all be on the ice with the veterans this weekend. If any vet falters, it’s a safe bet one of the three will step right in and take their place.
Belated congratulations to team president Cam Neely for being named a 2010 recipient of the Lester Patrick Award. The award is given annually to those who have made significant contributions to hockey in the United States. Two other Boston hockey institutions, Boston University coach Jack Parker and Boston College coach Jerry York, were also awarded the prestigious honor along with Neely.
Be sure to say happy birthday to the following September birthday boys: Marco Sturm (Sept. 8), Ryan Donald (Sept. 10), Craig Cunningham (Sept. 13), Alain Goulet (Sept. 22), Zach Hamill (Sept. 23), Steven Kampfer (Sept. 24), Matt Delahey (Sept. 25), and Jordan Knackstedt (Sept. 28).