The Predators were back on the ice at Centennial for day two of the much-abbreviated training camp. After a tough on-ice session during both days, the coaching staff already seems pleased in the current progress of his team.
“Our execution is really good, our page is really good, our focus is really good,” Barry Trotz said. “I think the group is buying into the ‘Hey it’s a really short training camp, we have a lot to cover’. It’s coming back to them quicker because they know what we’re doing.”
Most of today’s session consisted of 5-on-5 rush drills and a heavy dose of work along the boards. While Trotz seemed to be pleased in the approach the players had been taking to camp so far, shaking the cobwebs and dust from the rafters was a key concern.
“We’re spending a little extra time with some of the thought process. We talked about you don’t want to be sloppy AND rusty, you can’t have both. There is some rust in our thought process and those game skills,” said Trotz. “We just have to stay focused on the task of preparing our game.”
Trotz spoke a lot about where the team needs to start from, in terms of re-approaching the grind after such a lengthy absence from NHL hockey. While his metaphors rang true, he also was very cognisant about all teams being on the same page.
“If our foundation isn’t stable, there is no sense going any further. Just like anything, once you put down some foundation you gotta let it cure a bit. We gotta let it cure a little bit so we can take the next step,” said Trotz. “Nothing is really going to get us on the right track for all the teams until we start playing games. As close as we can get to our foundation, we’re going to trust we have good experience. We have a solid team with good depth and we’re going to have to work through anything we go through. There’s no distinct advantage to anybody because there are no exhibitions.”
The Predators have been trying to focus on scrimmaging each line against each other in two separate teams, a white-jersey team and a blue-jersey team.
“Some teams are bringing in the farms teams. I don’t know if that helps or not?” Trotz said. “From our situation, we’ve talked about that, but we want our NHL guys to go against NHL guys and the thought process is that way.”
Day 3 of training camp’s on-ice sessions is set for 10:00am to 11:30am tomorrow at Bridgestone Arena. Parking will be free, while it lasts, at the 6th Avenue garage.
Noted line pairings for today’s session:
Yip/Spaling/Mueller (swapping out with McGrattan)
Rinne and Mason in net
On another note, Nashville claimed Rich Clune off of waivers today. Here was the press release on that:
“NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club claimed forward Richard Clune on waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Clune is in the first of a two-year, two-way contract that will pay him $525,000 at the NHL level and $75,000 at the AHL level in 2012-13, and $525,000 at the NHL level and $90,000 at the AHL level in 2013-14.
Clune, 25 (4/25/87), has seven points (2g-5a) and 98 penalty minutes in 35 games with L.A.’s primary developmental affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, in 2012-13. Since turning pro in 2006-07, the 5-10, 207-pound native of Toronto has appeared in 275 career AHL games, posting 75 points (26g-49a) and 925 penalty minutes. During the 2009-10 campaign, he played his first 14 NHL regular season games (0g-2a, 26 PIM) – and four playoff contests (0g-0a, 5 PIM) – with the Kings.
The Dallas Stars’ third selection (71st overall, third round) in the 2005 Entry Draft split his junior career between the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting (2003-06) and Barrie Colts (2006-07), winning the 2005 Bobby Smith Trophy as the OHL’s scholastic player of the year.”
Here are some key quotes from David Poile and Barry Trotz on the new acquisition:
“He’s a feisty guy. Clune was a guy in LA and brings a lot of energy and physicality. He hits a lot and is pound-for-pound a real tough kid. He’s hard to play against, abrasive, and he’s one of those guys you hate on the other team, but like on your team. We thought it was a real good fit. We had our eye on him for a number of years.” – Coach Barry Trotz
“This is a player we had written down as a forward, that if he came available, we would be very interested in. Hopefully this is one that got away [from the Kings]. [Clune is] an energy-type of player, a little bit like Jordin Tootoo, he brings that element to the team. He’s a fearless type of player, plays hard all the time, will engage in fisticuffs if necessary, he’ll make a real good team player. It feels like it’s a good fit and he’s real excited for the opportunity.” – General Manager David Poile
Check out the additional commentary about Clune here, written by James Neal
Enjoy folks, it was good to be back at training camp. Check back tomorrow for more.