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Today was by far the easiest day physically for the players participating in the camp, with some on-ice work with skating instructor Barry Karn and a meeting with strength coach Kevin Ziegler. After that it was back to the resort for a golf outing on a course that hasn’t opened to the public yet. The view is amazing from some holes on the course, with most of the Southern tip of Vancouver Island visible. Tonight the team heads off to dinner at Len Barrie’s home at the resort.
Time to give some props to the behind-the-scene folks keeping the camp together. On the Lightning side of things, hockey operations staffer Ryan Belec has worked nonstop the entire week to make sure things run smoothly. From the meals to the buses to the meeting rooms and the airport shuttles, Belec has made things easy for everyone involved. Also deserving of a nod are equipment managers Ray Thill and Rob Kennedy, who made a 52-hour, 3,261-mile Tampa-to-Victoria drive in the Lightning’s equipment truck to make sure all the gear was ready to go. It’s a kick to see the giant “Hockey Bay” logo on the side of the truck parked outside the arena.
Finally, our hosts at Bear Mountain have been unbelievable. Everything they do around here is first class and every detail has been looked after completely. Same goes for the folks from the Victoria Grizzlies – the junior team that runs the arena. Some of the friendliest people in North America live on this Island.