The Tampa Bay Lightning's 2012 Development Camp is underway in Brandon this week.
After some confusion over what the definition of "open" is, fans were in the stands as the second day of activity began with goaltenders Pat Nagle, Clarke Saunders, Adam Wilcox and first round draft choice Andrey Vasilevskiy (or Andrei Vasilevski if you prefer) on the north rink ice under the supervision of Frantz Jean.
Around 9:30, the other players began filtering out of the dressing room, forming the two working groups. Group A stayed on the north rink, working on shooting drills while Group B went to the south rink for power skating instruction. After an hour and a half, the groups swapped activities. It was a short day and everything was wrapped up around noon.
Some random observations after the jump...
- While the basic structure of this camp bears resemblances to the annual camp for veterans held prior to the start of each season, there are some notable differences. For starters, the participants are young men learning for the first time what it is to be professional hockey players. There's no sense of "been there, done that". Players move swiftly from drill to drill, taking care to execute commands exactly as given by the coaches. It's obvious that attention is being paid to the notion of making a good first impression.
- Something else you don't see at the regular preseason camp is frequent acknowledgment for jobs well done between players who may one day be teammates but are also going to be competitors for precious few roster spots.
- The only players in camp born before 1990 are forward Maxime Langelier-Parent (December 16, 1987), and goaltenders Pat Nagle (September 21, 1987) and Clarke Saunders (September 9, 1989)
- If that doesn't make you feel old, consider that 16 of the 30 players in camp were born after the Lightning played their first game on October 7, 1992.
- Officially listed as a camp activity was a group outing to attend the Tampa Bay Rays game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field later, made possible by an invitation from the Rays.
- Not that it had anything directly to do with the mini-flood of free agent activity (but who knows?), GM Steve Yzerman and Assistant GM Julien BriseBois were seen passing a Blackberry back and forth. Hard to tell if it was one long phone call or several short ones.
- Apparently, the confusion over whether or not today's sessions were open to the public had to do with the holiday staffing of the Ice Sports Forum. The pro shop and concession stand were both closed and the only employees seen were an attendant at the information desk and a Zamboni driver, so in effect, the facility was "closed". All sessions are open for public viewing and the facility will be "open" as usual for the remainder of camp.
The schedule for the remainder of camp:
- THURSDAY, JULY 5: 8:45am - 12:30pm (goalie practice, power skating and shooting drills)
- FRIDAY, JULY 6: 8:45am - 3:30pm (goalie practice, power skating, shooting drills, 3-on-3 tournament)
- SATURDAY, JULY 7: 10:30am - 2:30pm (3-on-3 tournament, exit interviews)
All activities take place at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon (10222 Elizabeth Place, 33619)