The 56 players were split into three teams and the teams took turns on the ice. A scrimmage between Team A and Team B was played, complete with officials and about 200 fans cheering and applauding from the lower bowl.
|Ulf Samuelsson (right) oversees Sunday's workouts. |
“It was great to see fans out there cheering us for scoring goals in practice,” forward Scottie Upshall said. “It’s a good atmosphere and we hope it continues.”
Associate Coach Ulf Samuelsson orchestrated the on-ice workouts while General Manager Don Maloney and his staff watched carefully. Maloney and Samuelsson figure about 90 percent of the roster is set, so they’re looking to see who will fill the other 10 percent.
“We have some bubble players circled already so we’re keeping an eye on those guys,” Samuelsson said. “On the blue line, it’s a little tighter (for jobs), but with the forwards I think we’ve got maybe 10 guys fighting for three spots.”
Although it was just the first day of workouts, forward Mikkel Boedker
said he could feel a sense of urgency among the players fighting for jobs. He said he could also feel the coaches trying to mold a team attitude.
“They were pushing us hard and we’ve got to get into the mindset of not losing any battles and that’s what they’re trying to do out there,” Boedker said. “It’s hard, but hockey is supposed to be hard. The older guys were really pushing us younger guys and everybody worked together.”
Upshall also liked the intensity of the first workouts.
|Team A players stretch after Sunday's workout. |
“There was some good pace out there,” Upshall said. “We’re all here for a reason, to come back and work and get into winning ways. It started yesterday with fitness testing. I thought it was a good effort from everyone, and that led right into practice today.”
Newcomer Taylor Pyatt
, whom the Coyotes signed as a free agent just a few weeks ago, made his debut in a Coyotes practice sweater.
“It was definitely an intense practice and a good scrimmage,” Pyatt said. “I thought everyone worked hard and was trying to push each other.”
The Coyotes again will practice Monday. On Tuesday, Phoenix will play split-squad games against the Los Angeles Kings, one at Jobing.com Arena and one at the Staples Center.
Here is Monday’s practice schedule:Monday, Sept. 14
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Practice - TEAM C
10:15 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. – Scrimmage – TEAM A vs. TEAM C
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Practice – TEAM A
12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Practice – TEAM B