Golden Knights open training camp with Stone, without Hague
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The season of ‘Something to Prove,’ is officially underway for the Golden Knights, as the team hit the ice at City National Arena for their first day of training camp.
“Lot of work,” smiled Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson. “Happy to be back. I think a lot of guys were going extra hard today and are excited.”
“Everyone is excited for the first day of camp and ready to go here,” said Golden Knights forward Phil Kessel.
“It’s high, everyone is excited that summer is finally over and we’re back in the swing of things,” smirked Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith.
“It’s always high on day one,” explained Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel. ”Everyone has been waiting for the opportunity to get out there and so there was a lot of energy this morning.”
Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy broke the camp roster into three groups, with each group skating a 90-minute session.
“It was good,” said Cassidy. “It was a work day, hopefully, the guys understand that and are a little sore, but not to the point where it’s going to affect them tomorrow. Understand that this is the necessary sort of flow right now. They’ve been on the ice doing some touches and flow work. Now they need to get a little more comfortable with people around you because we’re going to be playing exhibition games in no time. That’s part of the thinking there that we have to get used to contact and people around ya, playing with your head up.”
One of the biggest takeaways on the ice Thursday was the early line combinations for the forwards, which featured:
- Kessel - Eichel - Smith
- Marchessault - Stephenson - Stone
- Howden - Karlsson - Amadio
“What you see now may or may not be,” warned Cassidy. “Guys are going to move around. I think that’s inevitable. How much they move around will probably be how much chemistry is there.”
“We have a new coach trying to put in a new system, it’s going to be a bit of learning for us, but it’s good, I think it’s a nice opportunity for us to try and build a structure,” explained Eichel. “You have two new line mates as well, I’m just trying to communicate, build some chemistry. It’s only one day, just try and get better every day and work towards something.”
On the ice for day one was Golden Knights captain Mark Stone, who had many wondering about his preseason availability after undergoing offseason back surgery. Stone took part in every drill, while also wearing a red no-contact sweater.
General Manager Kelly McCrimmon announced on Thursday that Laurent Brossoit, who had off-season hip surgery, would not participate in training camp. He also confirmed that forward Nolan Patrick, will not play this season. The 24-year-old was limited to 25 games a season ago due to an upper-body injury.
“We are declaring him out for the season, so I think that is a sobering reflection of where this is at for Nolan and our hopes are lets just get Nolan healthy first and then we’ll see what lies ahead in his future,” explained McCrimmon. “He’s a young guy and we hope good things for him.”
Also absent from camp was defenseman Nic Hague, who is currently at an impasse with management over a new contract.
“I’ve mentioned to you before, that getting Nic signed was an offseason priority for the hockey club, it remains that way,” said McCrimmon. “Nic is a real good young player, and a player we think is going to do real good things in our organization as he continues to develop. That’s a work in progress.”
“It’s been a long offseason and for all intents and purposes, our team has been in Vegas for quite some time. Their skates have been really good, the captain skates they’ve had have been really good. I feel strongly that guys have never been more excited for a season than they are.”
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