The Nanaimo Clippers will play for a championship at season’s end, and next week they take their first strides in that direction.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team opens training camp Monday (Aug. 20), with the first on-ice sessions starting the next day at Nanaimo Ice Centre.
“We’re very excited to get going…” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager. “Obviously we’ve had a busy off-season trying to put this thing together and build ourselves a hockey team.”
Thirty-eight players have been invited to training camp, and 22 roster spots will be available for the regular season.
“It’s going to be a really competitive environment, but that just comes with the territory,” Vandekamp said.
Returning veterans should feel confident, but not complacent, said the coach, and he hopes to see good things from them.
“I expect everybody to have had very serious off-seasons when it comes to training and preparation for this year,” he said.
GAME ON … The players will be split into two groups for the first week, with practices going at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and scrimmages at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 5:30 p.m. Thursday … The team will hold its annual Rhodesie Cup intrasquad game on Friday (Aug. 24) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.