For some, training camp is simply a chance to get back into game shape and fine tune skills before the 2017-18 regular season begins. Trying to make an impression or wondering if and when they may be sent to the minors isn't a thought.
Then there are others currently on the Nashville Predators roster - 55 in total as of now - battling for what may be just a few spots up for grabs on the NHL ledger, which must be finalized by Oct. 3, less than three weeks away.
Forwards Frederick Gaudreau and Cody Bass know they fit into this category. Nothing is guaranteed and everything must be earned for players like them, each with their own unique services to offer on the ice.
How they perform in the coming days will determine where they find themselves residing at the beginning of the next month, but who doesn't love a good challenge? Gaudreau and Bass have no choice.
"Everybody is here to give their best and try to impress the coaching staff as much as they can, but my focus is only on myself," Gaudreau said following his on-ice testing during Day Two of Preds training camp. "Whatever the other guys do, they'll do it, and the only thing I can control is myself. That's what I'm going to look at."
"I feel amazing," Bass, who is fully recovered from an injury that derailed most of his 2016-17 season, said. "I'm 30 years old, and I'm in the best shape of my life right now. I feel great, I'm excited, I'm happy and I need to have a good camp to make a name for myself."
Video: Cody Bass is ready to fight for a roster spot
Gaudreau, who skated in his first nine NHL games during the past regular season, became a hero of sorts when he tallied the first three goals of his career during the Stanley Cup Final in June. A new three-year deal followed this summer, something the undrafted Quebec native was grateful to receive.
"It feels good because it's three more years playing hockey, and that's the only thing that matters," Gaudreau said. "It's the thing I love to do the most in life, and for me, just to know that for the next three years I'll play hockey, it's a lot for me."
The question of where he will spend the majority of those three years still lingers, however. The contract is of the two-way variety through the 2018-19 season before morphing into a one-way deal for the 2019-20 campaign. If Gaudreau can channel his postseason performance on a consistent basis, he may be seeing Nashville more than anywhere else in the near future.
"So many times, I had to challenge myself with just trying to stay cool and keep my focus," Gaudreau said of the playoffs. "It was a really big time for me to grow up and learn and get as much experience as I could… It's just good for me right now, and the focus that I used during that time is still going to be the same that I use for the future."
While Gaudreau is relatively new to these situations, the 30-year-old Bass, who is entering his third season with the Predators organization, knows what to expect. A scrappy winger who has worked his way through the minors to receive NHL action over the years, Bass is aware there is no position being held for him among the forward corps. Rather, it's up to him to make those in charge take notice.
"I think this organization has done a great job with bringing in depth with healthy competition," Bass said. "I'm super excited [for camp], but I want to play hockey for another few years, and I don't want to be in the minors, I want to be in the NHL."
Video: Frederick Gaudreau talks training camp
Performances in practices and preseason outings will be of great importance for Gaudreau, Bass and a number of others who just want their first real shot, or just one more. And even if they don't find themselves on the team charter when the Preds jet to Boston for the season opener on Oct. 5, the big club will eventually need to recall someone. If not now, why not then?
"Whatever happens, happens," Gaudreau said. "If I get put in certain situations, it happens, but it's out of my control. The only thing I can control is how hard I work in the gym, on the ice and especially just having fun, too."
"Every day that I walk into this room and go on the ice with these guys is great for me because that means I'm not sent down yet," Bass said. "I'm just going to take it day by day and work as hard as I can and try to make a name for myself. Hopefully, I can put my name into [the coaches'] heads and try to make it a hard decision for them."