It's been a busy two weeks for new Condors head coach Troy Mann, who has been working in his new role three time zones away.
"Extremely hectic," said Mann, reached by phone at his home in Harrisburg, Pa., when asked how his first couple of weeks have gone. "The first week was pretty much getting acquainted with returning players and making decisions with J.O (general manager John Olver) on the qualifying list.
"I also spent a significant amount of time talking to NHL teams trying to align an affiliation. I went to the draft (in New Jersey on Sunday) and talked with some teams and have continued that process this week. I've had some positive feedback, but no guarantees."
Toss in recruiting, looking for a house in Bakersfield with the help of long-time pal Paul Willet, setting a moving schedule and taking care of family responsibilities, and Mann has had a full two weeks.
And it's not going to slow down any time soon. That point was driven home early in Wednesday's phone conversation.
"Can I call you right back, I have an agent calling me; I've been trying to get hold of this guy for two days," Mann said.
Later, Mann said at one point Tuesday he had left 19 straight messages for players or agents.
"It's the nature of the beast," he said.
The Condors made qualifying offers (the last in a three-step process by which ECHL clubs can retain rights of players who skated with the team the previous season) to eight players -- goaltenders Scott Greenham and Brian Stewart, defenseman Erik Burgdoerfer and forwards Scott Freeman, Brett Lyon, Brett Perlini, Nicholas Tremblay and Francis Verreault.
Mann, an assistant coach for the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League the past four seasons, was familiar with more than half of the players, including both goaltenders. Greenham was with Hershey (Pa.) at the end of the season in 2012 as was Verreault. Tremblay had a few games in the AHL the past two seasons and Mann said the Bears almost called up Burgdoerfer late last season.
The list does not mean all those players will be back -- Stewart has signed to play in England -- but by making a qualifying offer it means the Condors have the ECHL rights to those players this season.
Although the team has not made an official announcement, the Condors do have at least one player under contract -- forward Mike Hellyer, who was rookie of the year in the Central Hockey League last season as he put up 61 points in 63 games for the Quad City (Iowa) Mallards. The transaction was noted on eliteprospects.com
"When I met with JO (a few days before being hired), he said he was working on a kid from the Central (hockey) league," Mann said. "I talked to a couple of coaches I know in the Central league and they said good things about him."
Mann arrives in Bakersfield next week to settle into his office, secure a home and continue preparations for his first head coaching job since the 2007-08 season.
"This time of the year is for trying to build some depth, find out who the top (available) players are and be in contact with them or their agents and maybe pick up a veteran or two," Mann said, noting many players don't want to commit early. "You just have to keep pounding the phones and realize the best players that are probably going to help you win are not signing until late August or September and many will wait until after AHL camps open."