GLENDALE – An abbreviated training camp for the 2012-13 season will officially begin off the ice on Sunday and it can’t get here fast enough for Coyotes coaches, players, staff and fans.
Starting Monday, all 25 players will skate at the five-day camp at Jobing.com Arena, looking to secure a roster spot for the start of the regular season on Jan. 19 at Dallas.
“It’s going to be different for sure,” Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski said of the brief camp and the 48-game regular season. “But I think it will take just a week or a couple of games for us to get back to normal. We’ve all played this game for many years so I don’t think it’s going to take too long. Everybody is just so excited. There are going to be a lot of high-energy games.”
►Click here to see the 2012-13 schedule.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said the focus of the camp would be to quickly implement the team’s systematic approach for the 15 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies.
►Click here to see the 2012-13 training camp roster/schedule.
|Photo by Norm Hall. |
Unlike past years, this training camp will not be used to evaluate talent and get players into game shape.
The consensus around the team is that proper conditioning won’t be a problem.
“We’ve been off for a long time but we’ve been skating and keeping in shape,” goalie Mike Smith said. “It will be nice to get into some drills with the intensity of game situations. That part of it we definitely missed so it will be nice to get started in training camp because the season will come quick so we’ve got to get ready.”
While some of the players kept in shape by playing in Europe or in North American minor leagues, many others skated together at the Ice Den in Scottsdale on a regular basis.
“Skates here (in Arizona) were pretty competitive,” defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. “When you talk to guys from different teams, different cities, they only have a few guys skating (together). Here we had 10 or more guys all the time. You get to bond with the guys and that’s very important.”
Coyotes captain Shane Doan agreed, to an extent.
|Shane Doan |
“I think it’s good that we were together as much as we were,” Doan said. “If that’s an advantage, we’ll have to wait and see. It definitely didn’t hurt us. ”
Tippett is eager for training camp to begin, although he acknowledges it will be quite different than typical training camps with 50-plus players.
"We're not evaluating anybody here," Tippett said. "We've got to get up and running in a hurry, so it'll be structured but practices (will be) probably more like regular-season practices than training-camp practices."
He added: "Depth-wise, in a shortened season when we're going to be playing a lot of games, I like where we are, where our roster is now and where our depth is, so that we can stay competitive."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The public is invited to attend all training camp practices starting on Monday.