The final logos had been applied to the ice at Rabobank Arena and were being sprayed down with water, players had been issued their equipment and just before 2 p.m. on Thursday training camp began in earnest.
That’s when Condors coach Matt O’Dette strolled into the Condors dressing room to go over rules and expectations for training camp and beyond.
The Condors hit the ice as a team for the first time on Friday at the Bakersfield Ice Sports Center (with plenty of dry land training as well) and Thursday was all about preparing for TC and the season.
O’Dette stressed that players had to work hard every day, to play above the line, a theme for this season’s team.
O’Dette is starting training camp with just 23 players, the fewest in team history, but he let them know in clear, concise terms that more players would be arriving and they needed to be their best every day.
“There’s tons of players available, tons,” O’Dette said, pointing to the NHL lockout.
Players were issued binders full of information, and paper work, to be filled out.
There were shuttles to Dr. Rimmer’s office for dental x-rays and fitted mouthguards — the ECHL will be enforcing the mouthguard rule this year with fines to players and two minute minor penalties for not wearing one — and individual pictures to be taken.
A team dinner was scheduled for later in the afternoon followed by physicals.
Friday at 10 a.m. the season gets under way.
Let the pucks drop.