Crushers veterans holding mini-camp this week
NEW GLASGOW – Signs of the hockey season are starting to show as the Weeks Crushers veteran’s mini-camp is underway at the Wellness Centre.
Although the full training camp doesn’t open until Friday, veteran players returned for their mini-camp, which is running until Wednesday. Each morning they have on-ice sessions before their afternoon off-ice sessions with their strength and conditioning coach Kyle MacLennan.
He said he has set up the general blueprint of the training plan for the season already as well as this week with the team. MacLennan said things may need to be adjusted throughout the season based on the game schedule or specific to individual players, but the overall plan won’t change much.
“Obviously they’re on the ice in the morning, so I don’t want to run them into the ground, but I want to lay a good foundation they can carry over into the season,” he said. “It’s not the first time they’ve seen certain movements – they understand what I expect and that’s certainly good because we’ve had 15 to 16 guys here so that’s 15 to 16 more leaders that can help those rookies out when the in-season program starts. It’s not only helpful for them, but helpful for me as well.
“The template for in-season is already set. Obviously that can change, but the basic month-to-month plan is already laid out.”
He said with the veterans he’s just trying to get a base set for their strength training that they will be using throughout the season. MacLennan said he was also focusing on speed and agility exercises.
“I’m hoping I can give these guys a little more guidance as to what needs to be done in-season,” said MacLennan. “I think a lot of the time people are at one or two extremes where they don’t want to do anything at all during the season because they’re afraid of being fatigued for games and practices. The other side is when they do go out and do too much and that is the fact that they are fatigued. They run into sicknesses from over training or run into injuries. What I’m trying to do is find a nice balance for them.
“When other teams are starting to wear down from the grind at the end of the season, I’m expecting these guys to be going right into our peak.”
Scotsburn’s Daniel MacLeod said he’s been itching to get back to the rink and can’t wait for the season to start.
“The last couple weeks have been hard waiting, but finally everyone is back,” said MacLeod. “We had our first ice session this morning and everyone looked like they came back in shape, which is always great. We’re definitely ready to go.”
MacLeod said many players were on the ice throughout the summer so they weren’t too rusty.
“Obviously the first couple of passes are going to be a little off, but as the practice went on everything started to work out and passes started to hit the tape,” he said.
When asked about MacLennan joining the organization as a strength and conditioning coach, something the team didn’t have to that extent last season, MacLeod said he expects it will make a major difference for both himself personally and the team overall.
“We think it’s definitely going to benefit our team and Kyle really knows his stuff,” said MacLeod. “I think his goal is to make sure he helps us peak at the right time going into playoffs. I definitely think he can do that for us. We’re all ready to follow what he puts in place to help us be successful this year.
The full Crushers training camp opens Friday night with ice sessions from 7-10 p.m. On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:15 pm. there will be three scrimmages before inter-squad games Saturday night at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Next week they have two pre-season games at home, Tuesday against Summerside and Thursday against Truro.
“Everyone is excited to see everyone again and are excited for the year starting,” said MacLeod. “They haven’t really talked about the exhibition games. I know everyone is just excited to get back playing and as far as the goals for those games and what we want out of those haven’t been discussed by the coach yet, but we’re ready and prepared for those.”
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