I talked briefly with Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan Sunday about the team’s upcoming training camp. A lot is still to be determined because the Stars are waiting to hear from the league on when it starts, how long it will run and some other parameters.
That said, Gulutzan expects a competitive camp because there are openings on the roster for some of the Stars’ young players who are currently playing with the Texas Stars of the AHL.
And the Stars coach said that center Derek Roy, who had offseason shoulder surgery, was cleared to play last week.
Here’s a transcript of the interview.
The camp will be shorter than usual, what will be some of the challenges
“I think the biggest challenge – and it’s not really a challenge because there is nothing we can do about it – is waiting to see what the parameters of the camp are going to be, and when the season is going to start. I think you can pretty much bet you are looking at seven days. It was my first year in the NHL last year running a long camp, and that was a new experience. Running a short camp, however, is something I have more experience doing. I think it is going to be gauging where players are – some have been playing and some haven’t – and getting them all up to speed. But having a seven-day camp is something I have done at other levels.”
The number of players who will attend camp
“Without knowing the rules or guessing what the rules are going to be, and depending on what our American League team is doing, we could have as few as 19 to start and as many as 25 midway through camp. It depends on what the eligibility for junior players is going to be and so forth. It’s something we’ve looked at, but we can’t really say until we get the schedule. I would say 19 at the minimum and 25 at the max. That could change depending on what the rules are. Maybe we’ll want to play an intasquad type game without an exhibition game. “
Which players from the Texas Stars are likely to get a look in camp
“You certainly have guys that played in the NHL last year in (Tomas) Vincour and (Cody) Eakin, and Eakin is currently leading their team in scoring. You are certainly going to look at those guys. There will probably be two other forwards that I would certainly like to take a look at, and I won’t say who those guys are. I think there are three defensemen there that will have to come up, and one of them is going to have to play for us. There’s (Brenden) Dillon, Jordie Benn and one other that I would like to bring up and take a look at where they fit.”
Will you carry 22 or 23 players on the roster
“That’s to be determined. We’ll see where we’re at, who makes the club. This is the first time in a while that there are spots sitting here for our players that are in Austin. There are open spots. It’s going to create some competition. I think that 22nd, 23rd spot, we will have to determine what is best for the individual and our group.”
Any concerns about the conditioning of players who didn’t play during the lockout
“These guys are professionals. I am proud of our guys during this lockout, the way they have handled themselves in their comments and stuff like that. I thought they were very respectful of the process. With having Ray Whitney here and Brenden Morrow, I know that the guys in town have been pushed. I know the guys that have been away have been skating in good programs. (Alex) Goligoski is in Minnesota skating with 25-30 other NHL guys, all pushing each other. I know these guys are going to be in good shape. It’s just going to take them a week or so to get into game mode.”
The status of center Derek Roy, who had offseason shoulder surgery
“On January 2 Derek Roy got cleared to play. We got to see his progress, and that’s the one player that we got to see his progress from September until December. He’s ready to go. If there’s a silver lining to the lockout, it’s the fact that we didn’t have to go three months without one of our best players. He’s completely healthy moving forward. That’s going to be a big boost to us. It’s going to be a sprint, so it’s good to have all hands on deck.”