Sorry for the delay, Snakes fans! This has been a crazy couple of days for me. Training camp in the morning, work at CSU in the afternoon. Today, threw in a dental appointment for good measure.
Today's training camp was a little hectic. Our chief photog, Mike Haskey, shot the photos for my preview section. I always get excited about the opportunity to give ya'all a peek into the Snakes roster and season, but this season I'm especially thrilled.
Some of the basic elements you've seen for the past 8 years will be there, but there will be several new twists that I hope ya'all like. The photos, and Mike's creativity, add so much. I really appreciate Mike, Robin Trimarchi and Joe Paull and all they do to make my stories come alive all season long.
Must say, I miss my pal and creative partner Stephanie Pedersen. Steph got a well-deserved promotion...UGH. :) That means she and I won't be working on the preview section together. We made a great team. Not to worry. My editor, Kevin Price, and Emily Settles will assemble the masterpiece...haha.
Thanks to the guys who willingly and cheerfully gave up some of their mid-practice break to pose for Mike. They're always so patient and cooperative. Never ceases to amaze me. No grumbling or complaining...at least none that I know of! I asked Mike..."aren't they great? I tell them what to do and they do it." I like that...:)
On to today's news. There's a new guy in camp who made a great first impression on yours truly. Ya'all know I'm an old southern woman who firmly believes in being friendly and using good manners. As a mom and retired teacher, no way those beliefs are going away...haha. I was waiting for Pedro Slayton, my savior during camp, when this guy comes toward me. I'm thinking...huh? I don't recognize this kid AT ALL. Must really be losing it.
I make eye contact, he takes off his glove, extends his hand and says. "I'm Alex" and gives me a big smile.
As it turns out, he is Alex MacLeod, a forward, who played at Michigan Tech. Welcome, Alex!
As usual, Jerome scrambled the lines today. Here's the way they stacked up:
- Sam Bowles---Brett Hammond---Evan MacIntosh---Liam Tully
- Jim Durham--Orrin Hergott--Levi Lind
- John Sullivan--Jordan Braid--Adam Kuhn
- Derek Pallardy--Jonathan Redlick--Nik Poliokov
- Jason Yuel--Alex MacLeod--Andrew Adams
- Tom Maldonado and Chris Bailer
- Bret Tyler and Kyle Johnson
- Daniel Amesbury and Ivan Lyaskevich
- Kevin Kessler and Tom Fitzpatrick
Thanks to Pedro, the Snakes new equipment manager, who patiently IDs all the new guys every morning for me. I appreciate you, Pedro!
Filling 3 spots on D is going to be tough and Jerome is giving all of these guys a good look. Today I concentrated on Bailer and Johnson and was very impressed. They appeared to be solid, steady, stay-at-home D-men...great for offensive-minded guys like Tom and Bret.
This is a larger camp than usual, so it's hard for me to watch more than a couple guys at a time. First, I have to figure out who's who...haha. Just when I think I know, they switch colors and numbers and put on shields and all bets are off!!
Of course, Ian and Andrew are...Ian and Andrew. I believe I called them rock solid last year. Nothing's changed. :)
As I've said too many times already, to me the keys this year offensively are: who plays with Derek and Orrin and who's going to shove guys around, ala Mitch Wall and Pete MacDougall. Their pairing with Sammy was one of the more unusual lines, but it sure was effective!!
Got a chance to speak with Adam Kuhn today. Regardless of what any of us thought when he was a Pensacola pest, he's a really nice guy... EXCEPT for trying to start a baseball war with Tom via twitter and drag me into the middle of it!!! haha. I made it clear today that I'm going the neutral route with the Yankees-Tigers series. My team was the victim of the shallow left field fly rule, so I don't have a dog in this fight. UGH
Time to work on a story for Thursday and a couple parts of the preview section need work. So I'll close for now.