The Dallas Stars got back to work on Monday after a day off on Sunday, which was spent doing various team-building activities in and around Colorado Springs.Watch a video here (700K )
Before the club’s preseason contest on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center, the squad skated through a fairly rigorous two-hour workout on Monday morning at Colorado Springs’ World Arena.
While preparing for the Avs on Tuesday night, General Manager Doug Armstrong, Head Coach Dave Tippett and the Stars’ coaching staff also continued their evaluation of the 32 players remaining in camp.
“We are starting to see the NHL players separating themselves,” said Tippett. “We are pushing guys and trying to get down to our core group, the 23 guys we’ll head into the regular season with. We are working to ensure we’re strong in key areas and in establishing our identity.”
The Stars will skate in Colorado Springs on Tuesday morning, before heading to Denver to battle to the Avalanche. Two home preseason games await later this week (Thursday vs. Phoenix and Saturday vs. Tampa Bay) before the club makes it final cuts.
One player who has especially enjoyed the club’s venture to Colorado Springs has been center Toby Petersen
, a 2000 graduate of Colorado College. A native of Minneapolis, Petersen skated for the Tigers from 1996 to 2000 and is excited to be back in the CC dressing room in World Arena as an NHL player.
“I’ve really enjoyed being back here and it’s like coming home in a sense,” said Petersen. “It was a really pleasant surprise to hear we were coming here, and then getting to this point in training camp. This is the first time I’ve been back since 2000 and it’s just been a real treat.”
Petersen visited the Colorado College campus on Monday afternoon to see some old friends and professors, and beams with pride about the tradition CC has built on the ice.
“I loved every minute of my experience here,” said Petersen, “and it’s nice to see the changes the school has gone through. It’s also nice to see that some things haven’t changed, that the team is still a solid contender in the WCHA and that the room is the same as it was. CC has facilities here that are better than most AHL teams and it’s a major recruiting tool.”
Colorado College also produced Stars prospect Marty Sertich, the 2005 Hobey Baker Award recipient as the best player in collegiate hockey, as well as 2003 winner Peter Sejna. The relatively small school also boasts such NHL players as Tom Preissing and Noah Clarke.
On Sunday, the Stars took part in a ‘ropes course’ at the United States Air Force Academy and were joined by the members of the Air Force hockey team, who also took the NHL players on a tour of their impressive facilities. The Stars then enjoyed a fun Sunday evening of horseback riding, pistol- and rifle-shooting ranges and a barbecue at the M Lazy C Ranch, high in the Rocky Mountains above Colorado Springs and near the famous Pikes Peak. The team-building activities continued on Monday afternoon, as the players organized an intrasquad golf tournament at the Broadmoor Golf Club, which will be home of the 2008 U.S. Senior Open.