The Nanaimo Clippers have started the process of putting together a roster for their historic 40th anniversary season.
The city’s B.C. Hockey League team opened training camp on Monday, with the first ice sessions today (Aug. 21) at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
Thirty-eight players received invitations and the roster limit will be 22 once the season starts.
“We like what we’ve got for a core group to start with,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager. “We know that we have lots of work to do, but I think we’ve added some size and some speed, some character and some work ethic to our lineup, and those are some of the things we were trying to do.”
Now he gets to see how those traits transfer to ice level. Vandekamp said the morning practices will be short and intense, and the evening games will be played however the players decide to play them.
“If you’re a goal scorer you go out and score some goals, if you’re a playmaker, make some plays, if you’re a hitter, make some hits, if you’re a fighter, get in some fights,” said the coach. “You’ve got to go out and do your thing.”
Team Orange will face Team Black for the first scrimmage tonight at 6 p.m., the rematch goes Wednesday (Aug. 22) at 6 p.m. and then the third game will be Thursday at 5:30 p.m. At that point, the two groups will be shuffled prior to Friday’s annual Rhodesie Cup charity intrasquad game.
GAME ON … The Rhodesie Cup will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Admission is $2 and proceeds go to KidSport Nanaimo … The Clippers’ first pre-season game is Sunday (Aug. 26) against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane.