Here are some quick hits from this morning’s practice at Center Ice Arena. Look for more in tomorrow’s editions …
– The returning players we spotted on the ice: Jon Francisco, Jon Rheault, Todd Jackson, Mike Howe, Tim Kraus, Doug Spooner, Chris Curran, Shawn Germain, Chad Starling, Andrew Martens and David Walker.
– Twenty-three players were on the ice in total, including Curran, who doesn’t look like he’s been cleared for contact. Tony Voce, who spent the past two seasons in Europe following a promising start in the AHL, is also under contract but in an AHL camp. Geoff Walker is still in Manchester. Another three players were held out due to various injuries.
– Generally speaking, the team is bigger and in better shape than it was a year ago. All the returning players seem physically trim; combine that with a few haircuts (notably Chad Starling, Shawn Germain and Doug Spooner), and this is a team that should be flying up and down the ice.
– Huntington Beach native Cameron Cepek, a defenseman who was selected in the seventh round of the 2006 NHL draft by Montreal, was a late roster addition.
– The team has a full day of off-ice events planned for Saturday, including some time at the beach and at the Kings’ game against the Phoenix Coyotes.