There’s excitement in the air for the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals as the VIJHL club is just a few short weeks away from hosting their main camp at Oceanside Place in Parksville.
With camp slated to start Aug. 14, the Generals GM Rob Gaudreault is excited about the way things have been coming together through the summer and looking forward to seeing the team that’s being put together by himself and head coach Brad Knight out on the ice ahead of the season.
“We’re really excited,” Gaudreault said.
“We’ve been working very hard to try and get the players in here that we want to represent our team on and off the ice and the players that we feel are going to fit the style of game we’re going to be playing this year.”
Things were a bit of a mess last season, with a couple of coaching changes and a general manager change mid-way through the season.
Gaudreault feels the ship has been steadied and is headed in the right direction and it all started with the hiring of Knight this off-season.
“He’s got a great reputation,” Gaudreault said. “We’re trying to put the past behind us with what went down off the ice and we’re making the right strides to see that happen. Brad and I have put a plan in place, working very well together, and we’re going to see it through. I’m just really looking forward to getting everyone we’ve been in contact with out there on the ice and seeing it all come out heading into the season.”
Both Gaudreault and Knight have been tirelessly finding players that want to come and play in Parksville and while it’s been a challenge, it’s an exciting challenge to say the least.
“We’re going to have a bigger team I think,” Gaudreault said.
“We’ve been looking for players who are a little more bigger, from a physical standpoint. We feel having a bit of size to go along with some quickness is going to be a good mixture for the style of game that we’re hoping to see. We’ll have a good look at everyone here at main camp to see who’s going to fit in where and really get to see where everyone’s level of involvement is at.”
Gaudreault is still looking to add a few more players to training camp, noting that there’s been a good amount of interest on both sides.
“We’ve got some deals that we’re still waiting on,” Gaudreault said.
“It’s one of those things where you just have to be patient with it all. There’s no need to try and force anyone’s hand because the decision is going to get made and we’re hoping things will work out in our favour. To go along with that, there’s always a good mix of players that are out for the Junior A camps too that won’t be available until those camps are finished. So there’s always that extra crop of players that do become available afterwards too and we’ve got our eyes on some guys there as well.”