Orlando, FL - The Orlando Solar Bears, proud affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL's Iowa Wild and Toronto Marlies, announced today their training camp schedule for the 2013-14 season. All practices are open to the public. The following schedule is subject to change:
2013-14 Training Camp Schedule - SUBJECT TO CHANGE:
|Monday||October 7||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Tuesday||October 8||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Wednesday||October 9||8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Season Ticket Pickup, 3rd Jersey Unveil|
10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice
|Thursday||October 10||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Friday||October 11||7:30 p.m. - Preseason Game at Florida Everblades|
|Saturday||October 12||7:00 p.m. - Preseason Game at Florida Everblades|
|Monday||October 14||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Tuesday||October 15||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Wednesday||October 16||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Thursday||October 17||10:00 - 11:15 a.m. practice|
|Friday||October 18||Start of Regular Season - 7:30 p.m. Game @ FLA|
|Saturday||October 19||Home Opener - 7:00 p.m. at Amway Center vs. FLA|
Flash photography and unauthorized video recording is not permitted.
Solar Bears Director of PR and Broadcasting Bob Mills had a chance to sit down with Head Coach Vince Williams to discuss Solar Bears Training Camp:
Q: Camp is going to be very competitive, especially for the rookies. You have a lot of really talented players trying to make this team. What do the younger players need to do to separate themselves?
A: Their preparation over the summer is important. Their conditioning is extremely important, because if they are not in shape it is going to be evident. How they shape up compared to the vets will show a lot about their preparation for camp. Being prepared is the first step to becoming a true professional.
Q: Do you try to incorporate power play and penalty kill strategies in camp?
A: I'm a big believer in teaching and implementing special teams right away. A major percentage of these guys in camp will be here when the season starts. The on ice and off ice culture of the team and organization has to be established from day one. Working on the special teams early gives the coaches a chance to see who picks up on things quickly and who will need some extra work.
Q: Looks like you'll have a battle for every role on this team. How are you able to use training camp to evaluate your team?
A: Character, leadership, conditioning, accountability, how coachable they are; you look for players that take pride in their preparation and performance. There is a clean slate for everyone, and as a coach you are looking to create the best team. The players can control how prepared, healthy, and fit they are, and how much they have invested in themselves over the summer.
Q: Not everyone will make the opening night roster on October 18 in Estero - what will it take to make this team?
A: We are looking for players to take ownership. I'm looking for players that will do whatever it takes to separate themselves. The competition in camp will push players to be better. We are looking to see which players complement each other and make each other better. It's a good time to find out what makes the guys tick and who has leadership qualities. Players come to camp with certain profiles. There are always surprises, sometimes you don't see what you expect out of certain players, and that is why you want a competitive camp. You look at what these guys do on the ice AND off the ice. I'm always looking for players that are committed to the team and organization.
Q: The next two weeks will go by fast. How do you make the most of these next 14 days?
A: We'll start teaching right away to take advantage of this preparation period. You have to start teaching on October 7, not October 18, and implement the structure both on and off the ice. You can't waste this valuable time to prepare your team and get organized. Everyone is going to be given every opportunity to succeed. Obviously we will be teaching and coaching the players all season, but it has to start now.