Everyone around the NHL world is preparing to hit the ground running with the upcoming abbreviated 2012-13 season coming up just around the corner. Players have been slowly returning to their hockey season hometown's to get ready for the very short training camp. Almost every Winnipeg Jets player is now accounted for as the team has been meeting over the last few days for informal practices without their main coaching staff.
The biggest question right now is how exactly will training camp look? Who will be there on top of our regular roster? How many extra players will be fighting for a full time spot? By the sounds of it, camp will be short and sweet, according to Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.
“I’m very excited about the prospects of getting the season started and looking forward to actually being able to seeing this year’s rendition of the Winnipeg Jets on the ice and looking forward to that day,” said Cheveldayoff during a conference call Wednesday evening. “As far as training camp numbers, we’re going to have a small training camp.
“We’re looking at taking a look at some of the guys that have earned the opportunity to potentially be called up in short order, and based on how they’ve been playing. We obviously have some question marks on the injury side of things, so the numbers we start at training camp could be a fluid type of situation but we’ll probably start with roughly five full lines of skaters and two goaltenders, and go from there.”
Even the coaching staff has been kept in the dark as far as how things will unfold and shape up. The more players invited to training camp, the tougher it is on them to make cuts and properly evaluate each and every player in such a short amount of time.
“From talking to the coaching staff, they are very, very anxious to getting the players on the ice,” said Cheveldayoff. “To get a chance to catch up with them and start building a unified group towards an eventual successful season here. Exactly how training camp will look when it starts, in what form or fashion it will be, those are still works in progress."
Because the final ratification process is not fully completed, there is no set time and date that the players must report to their clubs, which is why there are still a couple Jets left to trickle into Winnipeg.
“Until training camp starts and until an actual CBA is in place, the process is still undergoing," said Cheveldayoff. "There is no opportunity for coaches to really speak or coach with any of the players at this point in time. There’s no mandate that we can impose on anybody to be here by X amount of time until the CBA is ratified.”
The following players arrived from St. John’s on Wednesday: Defensemen Paul Postma, Zach Redmond and Derek Meech (who is not yet skating due to injury), and forwards Spencer Machacek, Maxime Macenauer and as expected, Alexander Burmistrov.
“We have some question marks that we’re hopeful can come into place. Burmistrov hurt himself playing in St. John’s and is rehabbing and it looks like, and we’re very hopeful he will be done rehab by the time training camp opens. Zach Bogosian is skating and we’re extremely hopeful that his injury process will continue to happen in fashion that is consistent with what the doctors are saying.”
Burmistrov missed 14 games with the IceCaps due to injury. Through 22 games, Burmistrov scored two goals and nine assists.