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Troy Talks: Two days down at 2022-23 Training Camp

October 4, 2022

The Belleville Sens are two days into their 12-day training camp, with players being put through their paces at practice and in the video room ahead of a pair of preseason games this weekend. In this week’s Troy Talks, Head Coach Troy Mann gives his thoughts on the first couple days of workouts and his expectations leading into Friday’s exhibition matchup with the Toronto Marlies and Sunday’s preseason tilt with the Laval Rocket.

How have things been going so far?

“We’ve got a number of guys who are back from last year, so systematically, it’s a bit easier. Most of them have been in Ottawa as well and since we play very similar to the (NHL) Sens, any video we’ve done so far has pretty much just been review. On top of that we’ve had nine new players in on tryouts and we’re trying to get them on the same page before we play on Friday (vs Toronto) and Sunday (vs Laval).”

You’ve gone with a couple of extended, skating-heavy practices to start. How important is it to get that conditioning up right away?

“If you want to play fast and play with pace, you need to be in great condition from a skating perspective. It’s one thing to be in shape in the summer, but it’s another to get into it here. Practices end up long because there’s a lot to get through. You’ve got the systematic stuff, the compete drills, and some one-on-one battles to see who’s going to win those. There are a lot of components to the practice, because when you’ve only got four days, you need to put everything together in a short amount of time.”

Is anyone standing out individually right now, or are you still evaluating mostly as a group?

“I think we’re just evaluating everyone as a group. With the returning players we have here now, we understand what they bring to the table and we want to make sure they’re getting better, because ultimately they want to play in Ottawa. And then from a depth perspective, you want to see what’s available. How can the guys on tryouts help you down the line, when things unravel from an injury perspective, because you know they’re coming.”

Your camp roster is expected to grow and then shrink again over the 12-day camp. Are you expecting any roster moves before the preseason games this weekend?

“I highly doubt we’re going to see anybody here before Sunday or Monday. With Ottawa playing tonight and then heading to Newfoundland and New Brunswick for games this weekend, I believe they’re traveling with 29 or 30 players. From our perspective, we’ve got a smaller group here, which was intentionally with so many returning players. There really aren’t many jobs up for grabs, we’re looking more for depth pieces to cover our injuries. So, we’re going to get a look at some guys on Friday, practice on Saturday and then again on Sunday. I don’t foresee any movement until probably Sunday, then we have Monday off following the afternoon game against Laval, so we should have our full team in place on Tuesday.”

How will your practice plan change as you approach the preseason games this weekend?

“What we’ve done here is try to work on our systems and review those in the second half of both practices, yesterday and today. We’ll do a lot of the same tomorrow, with drills geared for five-on-five play, but we’ll also start to move into special teams as we approach the weekend.”

You got to coach some of these players at the Rookie Showcase in Buffalo and have seen some play in Ottawa’s exhibition games. How much are you looking forward to getting behind the bench with your players this weekend?

“I think we want to get a vision of what we’ll see when we get to Laval next weekend. There are a few guys I’m looking forward to seeing, like Ben Roger who’s a draft pick and will play both games this weekend. Kyle McDonald is eligible to go back to North Bay of the Ontario Hockey League, but is there a way he can help us? Or, Phil Daoust, who played a few games with us before going on to win a Memorial Cup, what’s he going to bring on Friday and Sunday to help us? Those are the type of things we’re looking for heading into the weekend.”

You can get tickets for Friday’s game against Toronto here and Sunday’s game against Laval here. Tickets for a Saturday afternoon affair between Toronto and Laval are also available here.

The Sens open the 2022-23 American Hockey League season on Friday October 14 in Laval. The 2022 Home Opener presented by CAA is the following night, Saturday October 15, also against Laval. Tickets for that game are available here.


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