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Training Camp Blog: Day Nine

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

Throughout training camp, different members of the Dallas Stars will sit down and share their thoughts on the day’s events leading up until Opening Night.

Day 9: September 27, 2008
Center Brad Richards

Camp’s been going really well so far. It feels good to be in training camp with the team you’re going to be spending the entire season with, especially after splitting the season last year. I’m starting to get to know some of the guys a lot better, as well as getting to know some of the younger guys in the system, some of the call-ups that I didn’t know last season, the rookies that are going to be with the team throughout the year. I didn’t really know them last year, so it’s nice to get to know them. We obviously need to get our work done to build a team and get the chemistry going, and get everyone on the same page with where we want to go.

I’ve only ever been in training camp with two teams, Dallas and Tampa Bay, and there are a lot of differences. Every team does things differently, so it’s hard to compare. The numbers are different and the way Coach Tippett does things is obviously going to be different than any other coach. It’s not fair to say one camp is better than the other, but it’s different. Any camp with any team would be different from the others. I feel really comfortable with everything here, and it’s been very easy to adjust.  Everyone makes you feel like part of the family here, and that’s the way it’s been since I got here.

They’ve got a lot of good young guys here, too. They did really well in the prospect’s camp in Traverse City. It’s really important to have strong talent and stability throughout your organization, and that’s what the GMs, Les Jackson and Brett Hull, are doing, and the coaching staff. For them to win the prospects tournament and then see some of the young guys like Fabian Brunnstrom and James Neal, some of these guys are knocking on the door, it’s great for the organization.

Like I said, I’m starting to get to know a lot of the guys better. Sean Avery and I are kind of in similar situations, being more veteran players coming to a new team. I was here during the playoff run, so I know the guys a little more, but I just moved here, so he and I are going through similar things with that. We’re the same age and we live close to each other, so I’m sure we’ll see a lot of each other. I helped him out a bit when he first got here. He’s a good guy to have on your team – he wants to win and he came here for a reason. It’s great to have that on your team, and he’s a good guy off the ice, as well.

As far as some of the other guys, I’ve known Mike Ribeiro, Brenden, and Turco through Team Canada, we’ve played together, and all those guys are pretty easy to get close to. Everybody here is easy to get along with – Mike Modano’s been great, helping me out with whatever I’ve needed throughout town and all the other guys, too. It’s a great team here – they’re all great people and they hang out with each other all the time, it’s really fun.

Morning skate was down at the AAC this morning, and it was an open house, so fans were allowed inside. Other than that, it was just a typical morning skate – nothing strenuous, just getting our sticks ready for tonight, making sure all our equipment’s ready, get our legs moving, work up a bit of a sweat and let the goalies get some work and see some shots. We’re starting to get into a routine. I think this trip to Colorado next week will be good for us – we’ll be together a lot and bond as a team. After we get back, it’s pretty much time to bear down and get going with the regular season. We’re looking forward to it. You always want camp to start and once it does, you can’t wait for the season to start.

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