By Kyle Palmieri
Hello, Ducks fans. Just checking in from training camp here with our AHL team in Norfolk, Virginia.
I got to Norfolk the Saturday before training camp started, around a week and a half ago. It’s a lot different than Syracuse, which was the Ducks' AHL team last year, but it’s been nice so far. People in the city, they love their hockey and they love their Admirals. So far it’s been awesome and we’ve gotten a great reception. It’s a long offseason for everybody, and I think they’re excited to get hockey back and for the season to start.
When you start camp, it usually takes a couple of days to get back up to speed. Everyone is trying to go a million miles an hour and impress the coaches. It takes a practice or two to get your mind right and get your body up to that speed again. You can skate all you want during the summer, but once you get into game and practice situations, you really can’t prepare yourself any other way. We’ve had scrimmages the last couple days of camp, since we have enough guys for two full teams. It’s nice to face off against each other for a little friendly competition.
I’ve been in a hotel in downtown Norfolk with the other guys in camp, and yesterday I did some apartment hunting, just kind of scouting out some good spots to live in. I’d like to find a place that’s close to some of the other guys, since we usually try to stay together. Once you leave the rink, your friends are pretty much the same as they are at the rink, so we like to stay close and keep each other entertained. Some of the guys are spread out right now between Virginia Beach and downtown Norfolk, so it’s just a matter of personal preference of where you want to live.
We have a good mix of guys and a lot of new faces. It’s good to get acquainted with the other guys, and obviously a lot of them will be my teammates this year. Right now we’re getting to know each other, and a lot of us are hanging out together at the hotel or in town.
When there is free time, you try and walk around the city, catch a few movies, that kind of thing. I’m not really a big movie theatre guy, so I usually just try to watch what’s showing in the hotel room. My roommate John Kurtz and I rented “The Chernobyl Diaries” the other night, and that was pretty good. I’m not normally a big scary movie guy. They get the best of me usually, but I could handle that one.
From what I can tell so far in camp, we’re going to have a great team. The fans are excited, the city is behind us, and hopefully we can play well in front of them. The Admirals last year finished the regular season with a record 28-game winning streak, and even though the team has new players this year, we hope to keep that going. We have two exhibition games this weekend and then our home opener is on Friday the 12th, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.
In the meantime, I’ll check in within the next few days to update you on how it’s going here. You can also follow me on Twitter.