Training Days: Camp officially begins Monday for Americans
While the NHL was cancelling the first two weeks of its regular season, members of the CHL's Allen Americans reported for a new season.
Allen has 19 spots open and 26 players reported to the AEC Friday in anticipation of training camp, which officially begins Monday morning.
"It's time to get down to business," said Richard Matvichuk, Allen defensive coach.
Matvichuk, along with minority owners and fellow former Dallas Stars Ed Belfour, Craig Ludwig, Steve Duchesne and Mike Modano will assist first-year head coach Steve Martinson during on-ice drills.
"I've waited all summer for this day," Martinson said. "It's always exciting starting a new adventure. We have assembled a lot of talent here and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone together on the ice."
In addition to the beginning of training camp, Monday will be Kids Day.
The Americans are encouraging fans to attend the team's first practice, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. from the AEC Community Rink and run for 90 minutes.
"We are extremely excited about the opening of camp," Martinson said, "and having the young fans in the building on Monday will add to that excitement."
Fans in attendance will be able to see plenty of familiar faces as alums Jarret Lukin, Brian McMillin, Jason Deitsch, Mike Berube, Tyler Ludwig, Trevor Ludwig, Kip Brennan, Nino Musitelli and Chris Whitley are all back in the fold.
There will be some new faces in camp as well, specifically Ryley Grantham and Mike Montgomery, who have been reassigned to Allen after spending training camp with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
"We are extremely happy to have these two players in Allen," said Craig Ludwig. "Ryley brings toughness and contributes at both ends of the ice while Mike Montgomery can really skate and is a solid puck-moving defenseman; he will be one of our top four d-men."
The Americans' two preseason games are Friday and Saturday against the Texas Brahmas. Allen will travel to the NYTEX Sports Centre on Friday before welcoming the Brahmas to the AEC at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.