The Nanaimo Clippers open training camp this week at Frank Crane Arena.

The Nanaimo Clippers open training camp this week at Frank Crane Arena.

Training camp begins now for Clippers

The Nanaimo Clippers skate their first strides out on the ice Tuesday (Aug. 23) as they look toward the 2016-17 hockey season.

The Nanaimo Clippers skate their first strides out on the ice Tuesday (Aug. 23) as they look toward the 2016-17 hockey season.

The city’s B.C. Hockey League club opened training camp on Monday with fitness testing, a day before the first on-ice practices and scrimmages begin at Frank Crane Arena.

“We had a very good meeting this morning with the boys and kind of laid some foundation there, not only preparing them for this week, but maybe a little bit of insight into what our attitude needs to be moving forward into the season,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager.

The team has 33 players in camp, a similar number to recent years.

“We’ve got a template that we’ve had in place the last few years when it comes to the number of athletes that we start with and the order of business throughout the week is pretty similar,” Vandekamp said.

The Clippers welcome fans to stop by Frank Crane Arena to watch how camp unfolds.

The participating players have been split into two groups, Team Orange and Team Black, which practise separately Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings with intrasquad games every afternoon. The teams do battle once more Friday with the annual Rhodesie Cup intrasquad game played in memory of Michael Rhode, longtime Nanaimo sports reporter. This year, proceeds from the game benefit the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club.

Practices this week are 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with intrasquad games at 3:30 p.m. on those days.

The Rhodesie Cup will be Friday at 6 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Admission by donation.

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