No matter what Peter Friesen was putting the prospects through yesterday, the hardest job in Raleigh had to be that of John Biedermann and his staff at the RecZone. Thirteen Canes prospects were in town, 12 of those skating in Raleigh for the very first time at the official training facility of the NHL team that drafted them. It was up to the RecZone staff to find a way to keep the ice with temperatures in the triple digits outside. So if the ice was less than perfect on Wednesday, I think it’s okay to give the ‘Zone a free pass on this one.
Luckily for the players in town for our annual Prospect Conditioning Camp, pretty much all of their activities yesterday were based indoors. Canes Head Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach Peter Friesen has filled the prospects’ week with one training session or seminar after another – the ultimate crash course in how to eat, train and live as a professional hockey player. Even the Canes PR staff is on the itinerary: today Kyle and I will give our annual media training talk to our newest players.
But clearly, the highlights of the camp for fans and players alike are the on-ice sessions – a chance to get our first glimpses of players like Jeff Skinner
, Riley Nash
and Jared Staal
skating with the Hurricanes logo on their chests. The RecZone sessions start around 4:45 p.m. each day this week through Saturday, and are open to the public. There was a great Caniac showing for day one yesterday, as an all-star cast of coaches – Ron Francis, Tom Barrasso, Glen Wesley, Jeff Daniels and Rod Brind’Amour – led the kids through drills at the RecZone. UPDATE: For those asking, the two goaltenders during yesterday's conditioing camp skate were regular Hurricanes practice goalie/equipment assistant Jorge Alves, and Junior Hurricane Billy Chrisopoulos. Billy played for the U16 AAA team last year that became the first to go to Nationals, and this year competes for the U18 AAA squad. Rumor has it that a certain Conn Smythe winner may make an appearance at Thursday's session.
There was also a great showing from the local media at yesterday’s session, as you may have seen if you watched any of the five local television newscasts last night. Here is a sampling of yesterday’s media coverage:Media Alerts:
• Corvo on 99.9: Freshly inked, Joe Corvo jumped on the air with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 The Fan Wednesday afternoon
• Shopping at the Teeter: WRAL’s Jason Jennings followed the prospects around as they learned how to shop like a pro athlete from a nutritionist at Harris Teeter
. You can also see extended versions of WRAL's interviews with Jeff Skinner
, Jared Staal
and Ron Francis
• Camp Photos: A couple of good photo galleries from the first on-ice session of conditioning camp yesterday: The News & Observer’s Chris Seward’s gallery
includes a nice frame-by-frame of a hit Jeff Skinner
put on Tyler Stahl
. Caniac Jamie Kellner was firing away with her own camera as well yesterday, and posted an extensive gallery on her flickr site
• Evolution of a beat writer: I spotted News & Observer beat writer Chip Alexander with a flip-cam-type video camera during the media access period after conditioning camp yesterday. So look for some moving pictures coming soon on Chip’s blog, Canes Now
• Dot Com: As always, Paul Branecky is doing a great job on CarolinaHurricanes.com, including this piece on the return of Joe Corvo
and this one on Riley Nash
. Look for more from Paul throughout conditioning camp. Also, if you are heading out to the RecZone to see the kids first-hand, don’t forget to print out a roster from our home page
• Wake up the Echoes: The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock wrote about Notre Dame product Kyle Lawson in today’s paper
• Bob and his Blog: Canes Country’s Bob Wage, who covered the NHL Draft in Los Angeles a few weeks back, was also at day one of conditioning camp
• Tweet tweet: Just a reminder that Kyle and I are both on Twitter now, sending out alerts for media appearances, upcoming press releases and more. Follow me @MikeSundheim
and Kyle @KyleHanlin