LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Golden Knights are back.
The team returned to City National Arena for day one of training camp Monday as they prepare for a shortened season.
While Monday may have been the first official team practice ahead of the 2020-21 season, the Golden Knights have been on the ice together for nearly two months, creating chemistry and preparing for what they hope is another deep postseason run. This weekend general manager Kelly McCrimmon said how impressed he was with the team's fitness and it showed on the first day of camp.
“One thing I’ve learned about this group is they’re self-motivated, you give them a window of opportunity to prepare for a camp, to a man they’re out there and they’re taking it seriously, that starts with our leadership," head coach Pete DeBoer said. "I think they saw the benefits of that preparation in the camp we had going into the bubble early and the playoffs in the bubble, they want to do the same thing, that’s what I see.”
This may be the first official training camp for DeBoer and his staff, but thanks to the camp in the summer -- prior to the bubble -- his players know exactly what to expect.
“Everybody was ready to go once playoffs were done, a lot of guys you see they look like they’re in midseason form, nobody is showing any rust or anything like that, I’m really excited to get going, and everybody else is too because they look so good," forward Chandler Stephenson said.
And one of those guys who stood out was prized free agent acquisition Alex Pietrangelo. With less than two weeks until the season opener and no preseason games, the newest Knight knows there's no time for a honeymoon phase.
“Even these scrimmages as we progress through camp, it’s going to be important to get what we want to get out of it because before we know it we’re going to be playing four games in in the first eight days, so it’s going to come quick," Pietrangelo said.
“We’re here, we’re here to work, we’re a confident group and we think we can be a great team this year, there is no excuse for our group, we came here to work and day one was great," forward Jonathan Marchessault said.
The Golden Knights will drop the puck one week from Thursday at 7 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena against the Anaheim Ducks.