Before I post the info on Rookie Camp - I feel I should mention two things that I sadly did not have the time to blog about while I was getting settled back into life in Colorado following my move.
The first, and biggest is Sakic's return. I wish I had written the blog I had planned to write to get my prediction on paper - so all of you could ooo and awe now. But I missed my window of opportunity whilst driving across Kansas. Had I the time to write before he made his decision I would have told you - as I told my friends - that after hearing his interview on The Fan (8/11/08) it sounded to me like he had made his decision - and he would be coming back - but for whatever reason the announcement would not be made yet. I would also have said that no matter his decision, I thought it was likely that he would make his announcement during the DNC, since that would absorb most of the local news media spotlight - and keep it off of him.
BUT I didn't write that.
Never the less, Sakic is back, with another one year contract to captain the Colorado Avalanche.
And there was much rejoicing!
In other news - the Habs will be raising Roy's 33 to the rafters. A little surprising given the way he left Montreal, but he is certainly deserving of the honor. Of course this now means that the Avs will have no retired numbers of our own, as we already share the honoring of #77 with Boston, and will now share #33 with the Canadiens. Oh well, no rush there - because the next number we're likely to retire is one that will truly be ALL ours (well, and our predecessor the Nordiques) - and that's #19 - no rush to hoist that one to the rafters.
Now on to Rookie Camp . . . .
I got there a little late - it started at 9:30am and we didn't get there until nearly 10:00am. Galiardi was out (blue shirt), but we quickly picked out the faces of Hensick, Jones, Tessier, Stewart and Peltier (having neglected to pick up the roster sheet when we first walked in). They ran drills on Hamilton Rink for about an hour and then moved to the Avalanche Rink for a scrimmage game.
During the scrimmage Burki took a puck to the shin, and hobbled off the ice pretty quick after that. If I had to venture a guess I would say that he will have a really gnarly bruise come morning (if not already) - but it didn't look to me like anything was broken. But keep an ear out.
McCutcheon was a bit of a surprise to me. A 24 year old center from Ithaca under an AHL contract with the Avs affiliate the Lake Erie Monsters, he made things happen when he was on the ice, scoring twice during the scrimmage. We have a glut of centers, and as such he will more than likely be back with the Monsters this year, but guys like him help to raise the level of play in their teammates, and hopefully he can lead the Monsters to some playoff success of their own in their sophomore campaign.
You may have heard it said before, but David Jones is a very hard worker. He is really following through around the net, getting his own rebounds and those of his linemates, following through with his checks, maybe it's because he was a 9th round draft pick, but whatever the reason he obviously puts his heart and soul into everything he is doing out there - even when it's "just" a practice scrimmage. This was especially apparent when he hung around to take shots on the rookie goalies after the scrimmage, when most other players and most of the fans had left. Arnason, who has often been accused of being lazy, could learn a thing or two from Jonesy. If he put in the effort Jones does, with his natural talent he could be amazing.
After the scrimmage most of the fans left - I think trying to avoid grid lock on I-25 because of the Broncos game this afternoon at Mile High (an interesting story in its own right - but beyond the scope of this Colorado Hockey Blog). My crew and I hung around a while longer though and watched the rookie goalies go through some drills with Galiardi, Jones and some others while working with "The Goalie Whisperer", Jeff Hacket. We officially have a new favorite - at least as far as personality goes - Keserich was hamming it up for us. Keserich played last year for the Colorado Eagles of the CHL but was recently signed to an AHL contract and will likely be with the Monsters this coming year. While Delmas (or was it Cann??) was in goal running through a drill - Keserich was goofing off trying to hit empty netters on the goal at the other end of the ice. When he happened to hit one on his second try my friends and I cheered and rung our cow bells (yes, we brought cow bells to Rookie Camp - it is training time for the players and fans alike - at least that was our reasoning). I think he honestly thought no one was even paying attention to him, so when he heard us makin' all that noise for his cross-ice empty netter he looked up took off his mask and gave us a big celebratory grin. Later when a few stragglers were left he and Cann were passing and puck handling around the net and he took a shot - hitting it top shelf and got it stuck in the mesh. We all cheered again and Keserich skated around with a celebratory fist pump (well, at least, what I imagine would have been a fist pump if he was wearing a big 'ole goalie catching glove) of the variety forwards Crosby and Stastny are known for. I am almost sad that he will be in Cleveland next year (though it is certainly a step up from the CHL) - because he will be too far away for us to go and cheer for him.
Anyway, I took some pictures, they aren't great, because, well, I don't have a digital SLR camera with a telephoto lens, at least not yet and when I get the image option working I will post them, for now here is the complete Rookie Camp Roster and the schedule for the rest of Training Camp (this week's Rookie Camp and regular camp which starts on Saturday morning).
37 - TJ Henick - C
38 - Codey Burki - C
41 - Michael Vernance - D
42 - Chris Stewart - RW
43 - TJ Galiardi - LW
47 - Ray Macias - D
49 - Darcy Campbell - D
50 - Derek Peltier - D
51 - Tom Fritsche - LW
54 - David Jones - RW
56 - Kevin Montgomery - D
57 - Rob Drummond - RW
58 - Nigel Williams - D
59 - Phillippe Dupuis - C
61 - J.D. Corbin - LW
62 - Wes O'Neill - D
63 - Mark McCutcheon - C
64 - Ian Keserich - G
65 - Jack Combs - RW
67 - Trevor Cann - G
68 - Bryan Marshall - C
70 - Peter Delmas - G
71 - Chris Mueller - C
72 - Joel Chouinard - D
73 - Cameron Gaunce - D
74 - Kelsey Tessier - C
75 - Dustin Sylvester - C
Sun, Sept. 14 - Rookie Camp - 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Family Sports
Mon, Sept. 15 - Rookie Camp - 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Family Sports
Tues, Sept. 16 -Rookie Camp - 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Family Sports
Wed, Sept. 17 - Rookie Camp - 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Family Sports
Sat, Sept. 20 - Training Camp - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Family Sports
Sun, Sept. 21 - Training Camp - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Family Sports
Mon, Sept. 22 - Burgundy/White Game - 6:00 p.m. - Air Force
Tues, Sept. 23 - Training Camp - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Family Sports
Wed, Sept. 24 - Preseason game vs. LA - 7:00 p.m. - Pepsi Center
I will post more details on our rookies tomorrow, but that should suffice for now. The countdown to the season can now truly begin!!