Our beloved Lake Erie Monsters begin training camp today at the OBM Arena in Strongsville,OH.
I'm really looking forward to this, we've got some strong returning players, some talented rookies and some veterans that look like an upgrade over last year. Also, there's a real live goalie coach, Jean-Ian Filiatrault and a new coach behind the bench in Randy Ladouceur.
The best part is that the Avalanche and Patrick Roy have brought the organization together and implemented a team philosophy and practice system that will be used by the Avs, Monsters and Cutthroats. Coach Chynoweth and his staff were in Denver for rookie camp and the first couple of days of Avs camp, having everyone involved in the process rather than being left as a separate entity is going to make a big difference this year, both for the Monsters and for the guys that come and go between the three teams.
Wednesday 9/25 - Practice from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Thursday 9/26 - Practice #1 10:30am to 12:30pm, Practice #2 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Friday 9/27 - Practice from 10:30am to 12:30pm
All of these are open to the public, so if you're just out drivin' around or something, head on over.
Saturday 9/28 - Pre-season game vs the Grand Rapids Griffins in Plymouth, MI
Sunday 9/29 - Pre-season game vs the Griffins in Windsor, ON
Monday 9/30 - Intra-squad skills competition at the Practice Rink, 7:15pm
Roster: The Monsters don't have a roster up yet, but here's who we know will be there so far
David Van der Gulik*
* - Played for Lake Erie in 2012-2013
Van der Gulik and Hishon were injured and didn't participate in Avs training camp, hopefully they've been cleared to go. Vincent Arseneau and Troy Schwab were not invited to Denver but will be in camp. Arseneau played for the Monsters at the end of last year, coming in as a free agent from the QMJHL and Schwab played for the Cutthroats last year.
Beyond that, the Avs still have 5 cuts to make before the regular season starts so we may see some of the following: Guillaume Desbiens, Brad Malone, Stefan Elliott, Nate Guenin, Nick Holden, and Matt Hunwick. Sami Aittokallio will be sent down, probably after the Frozen Fury in Vegas. The Monsters may have given out some more invites that haven't been publicized, we'll see.
I'm in North Carolina so I won't be able to attend, but anything interesting I can glean from the internet or wherever, I'll post here, anything major I'll put on the twitter as well. Anyone who gets a chance to see any practices or games, please feel free to post your thoughts.
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Good article this morning from lakeeriemonsters.com, Doug Plagens has interviews with Dean Chynoweth, David Van der Gulik and Dan Maggio from yesterday at Monsters Media Day.