The Nanaimo Clippers have skated a lot of kilometres by this point in camp, but that’s part of the process – they’re going to have to go the distance to make the team.
Clippers coach Mike Vandekamp said he’s “really happy with the effort” through a tough first few days of camp.
“Fitness testing was a grind, our practices have all been very competitive and then you throw the games in at night, too, and it’s been a tough grind,” he said. “But the guys have been really working hard and giving us everything they can so we can’t ask for more than that.”
Players are figuring out the sort of pace that’s required.
“Every coach runs training camp a little differently,” said Colton Cyr, Clippers captain. “There’s good coaches that run really comfortable training camps and sometimes it works for them. Mike obviously doesn’t really believe in that. He believes that you earn your spot no matter how you did last year or where you’ve been or where you’re coming from.”
Brodie Jamieson, Clippers veteran, said the returning players, the acquisitions and the rookies all understand they have to compete every shift.
“Vandekamp, he stresses hard work and he’s been skating us hard, pushing us hard and I think the guys are responding well to it,” Jamieson said.
ICE CHIPS … The Nanaimo Clippers are inviting fans to watch their intrasquad game Friday (Sept. 9) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The team then visits the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. before returning home to face the Bulldogs on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Frank Crane … To read the Clippers’ thoughts going into the first pre-season games, please check back at Clippers Central on Saturday morning.