NHL Training Camp Was a Great Experience
One of the guys I skate with has a son that’s a trainer for the Detroit Red Wings. Russ takes 3 players to the Red Wings Training Camp every year. Russ asked me in May if I wanted to go this year. I immediately replied YES.
The Red Wings training camp is at the Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, MI.
If you aren’t a Red Wings fan, that’s OK. This training camp is probably similar to other NHL camps. So, if you’re considering going to a training camp, this will give you an idea of what to expect.
FRIDAY 9-13-19: We arrived at the arena at 9 AM. We didn’t have to pay for any of the practices or games. Our Guest Passes also allowed us to be in the same area as the players, coaches and media.
PRACTICE 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
$20 Reserved or $10 Standing Room
TOTAL = 67 players
All practices were on two ice surfaces.
Practices for each group were 1.5 hours long.
As you would expect, all the players could fly and were highly skilled. They all looked like great players, but only 23 will make the NHL roster. Only 20 players dress per game.
Drills both ends of ice
Most of the drills were with the puck
Team scrimmages in practice: give up a goal. Jeff Blashill would blow the whistle and the team that got scored on would have to do four laps width of ice. The players on the bench also had to do laps.
Dump drills, Goalie drills
Deflections: player shooting from just inside the blue line and the other player in front of the goal (with and without a goalie). These guys make it look easy hitting the puck in mid-air with the blade and shaft of their stick into the goal.
Many retired Red Wings players were at this camp.
Niklas Kronwall: (Just retired after 15 yrs)
Marsblades (3:51) – Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall introduces us to the Marsblade
The holder/blade moves up and down. Sharper turns. Better forward to backward transitions. I asked Nick if he thought these blades could help us old recreational players. He said yes, but they’ll take a few skates to get used to.
Similar technology to rollerblades
PRACTICE 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
$25 Reserved or $15 Standing Room
Like Friday’s practice
6:00 PM – ALUMNI & CELEBRITY GAME
$35 Reserved or $25 Standing Room
Two 20 minute run-time periods
Players were retired NHL players. Also, current local police, fire fighters, coaches, doctors and sports media.
RED TEAM: Red Wings: Mickey Redmond, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Doug Houda
WHITE TEAM: Local Police and Fire Fighters (Guns & Hoses)
Jeff Blashill (G), John Ogrodnick (402 goals), Jiri Fischer (2000-2005), Fedor Fedorov and Trevor Thompson (Fox Sports)
This game was a fun, no checking game.
White won 7-2
12 NOON – RED and WHITE GAME
$35 Reserved or $20 Standing Room
Two 25-minute stop-time periods
Last 5 minutes of each period = 3 on 3 OT
Red Wings, Griffins and other prospects
Much more competitive then the Alumni game. Fast pace. They were checking, but no heavy hitting.
First Period Goalies
Jonathan Bernier (Red)
Jimmy Howard (White)
First Period Goals
Andreas Athanasiou – Double “A” (Team Red)
Oilwer Kaski (Team White)
First Period: 1-1
Second Period Goalies
Filip Larson (Red)
Calvin Pickard (White)
Regulation Tied 1-1
Team White won in a shootout: Anthony Mantha
My Thoughts on this Camp
I had a great time.
If you ever get the chance to go to an NHL Teams Training Camp, I highly recommend going.
I’m now 3-0 as goalie on the season. Our regular goalies will be back, so I am not sure when I will go back in the net. I have been very rusty, but it’s coming back to me and I’m getting back into the groove I had 25 years ago. I’m still a goalie at heart and hope I can play it more often.
I’m doing a better job with eating before the game. Protein bar and Gatorade.
I think the protein bar is important because it doesn’t burn up as fast as a candy bar would – it takes time to process the whole thing so it lasts for the game.
I eat a banana after the second period.
The Gatorade has been amazing. I come off at the end of the period and take a few sips. I’m back to normal and feeling good. It’s like Popeye and his spinach!
Thanks Wes for the emails
The Seattle Thunderbirds camp was fantastic (Major junior team in the Western Hockey League).
I learned that I was skating incorrectly for my entire life.
We had three goalies for the first two days, two goalies for the second two days, and only one goalie on the final day.
Similar drills to the camp I attended: https://agelesshockey.com/24
We also spend 1/3 of the time doing small-area games. 3 on 3 scrimmages on about 1/3 of the ice (i.e. inside the blue line on one side of the rink or between the two blue lines in the middle).
These games helped me gain the confidence to look around and take a second to make a decision and just understand where I expect other players to be.
The skills part has been so valuable. Whenever I do something incorrectly, a coach explains what I need to do differently or how to improve. I’ve learned how to skate faster, do sharp turns in a better way, and handle the puck better in general. I have also improved when transitioning from forward to back.
Joe also said: I was really looking at the camp as a way to learn what/how to practice, so that I could integrate all of it into my morning rollerblade commute.
Joe finished by saying “I highly recommend the skating camps and plan to go next year”!
Joe didn’t mention the cost of this camp.
Thanks for the emails Joe!
Vinyl Ice Pack (flexible)
Heating pad on legs and knees before stretching.
Great for holding the ice pack and heating pads in place: 1” x 24” Velcro Straps – 10 pack
UPDATE ON JIM
The Over 60 Fall League started on August 28th.
We have 28 games. Wednesday mornings: 9, 10, 11
NOTE: Details are include in the podcast.
Skating with my head up. I do fine, but when the game starts I’m still looking down too much. If you have any suggestions on how to correct this, please let me know.
HOCKEY GIFT IDEAS
2018 Hockey Gifts (end of episode)
Google: Hockey Gift Ideas
THANKS FOR LISTENING!
Email me at Jim@AgelessHockey.com
As always, I value your time and appreciate all of you that have subscribed to my podcast.
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This is my last podcast episode of 2019. Enjoy all your holidays and be safe. See you in 2020.
Always remember what’s important: Have Fun, Try to Avoid Injuries and Make New Friends.
Have fun playing the greatest game on earth!
STAY ON THE ICE