A floridapanthers.com exclusive, Panthers Assistant General Manager and San Antonio Rampage general manager Mike Santos will be sharing his thoughts with Panthers and Rampage fans throughout the year in his blog entitled On The Farm.
Greetings from the Alamo City.
This morning 36 players took to the ice at the Northwoods Ice Center, as the San Antonio Rampage opened the on-ice portion of their training camp. After undergoing medical and fitness testing on Sunday morning, followed by a team dinner last night, the players arrived this morning and took to the ice just before 10 a.m.
Training camp provides our coaching and hockey operations staff the opportunity to evaluate and assess the development of our players, as we make decisions on those who will earn spots on the Rampage’s roster for the 2012-13 season.
Head Coach Chuck Weber and Assistant Coach Jason Cipolla will conduct three practices (Mon-Wed), before the players participate in an intrasquad scrimmage at the Northwoods Ice Center on Thursday. The team will then travel to Austin on Friday to take on the Texas Stars in their first preseason game, followed by a home preseason game on Saturday against Texas at the Northwoods Ice Center at 4 p.m.
This year’s camp includes several returning players such as goalies Jacob Markstrom and Dov Grumet-Morris, defensemen Nolan Yonkman, Tyson Strachan, and Colby Robak as well as forwards Greg Rallo and Scott Timmins. The camp also includes several Panthers draft picks entering their rookie AHL season including defenseman Alex Petrovic and forwards Quinton Howden, John McFarland and Drew Shore. In addition, we have several new high quality additions that we signed or traded for this offseason including forwards Jean-Francois Jacques, Casey Wellman, and Andre Deveaux, defenseman Joshua McFadden and goaltender Michael Houser.
Both Panthers and San Antonio fans should be very excited about the potential of this year’s club after the Rampage won their first playoff series in franchise history last season defeating the Chicago Wolves. We have assembled a mix of young talented draft picks, along with quality American Hockey League players who will help the Rampage continue to build on their success, while developing players for the Florida Panthers.
It promises to be an exciting and competitive training camp as we prepare to start the 2012-13 AHL season.