With training camp just ten days away, new head coach Jason Johns and the Save on Foods Oceanside Generals are ready to take to the ice ahead of the 2014–2015 season.
The Generals, who have been taking to the ice at Oceanside Place throughout the summer, will bring in approximately 40 players to their main training camp, which gets going August 15 and runs to August 17.
Johns, who is about to enter his first season behind the bench with the Generals, is looking forward to the main training camp starting and the chance to see the off-season work both he and general manager Lou Gravel put in, to go along with the work all the players who are attending have been putting in over the summer.
“It’s going to be great, finally having it all come together,” head coach Johns said. “Lou and I have been on the same page right from the start and having that partnership during our work has made things run smooth. We’re both in the same boat in terms of the outlook and direction we want this team to head and that always helps.”
Last season was a struggle from many standpoints for the Generals, who will be looking to hit the reset button and start from scratch at the start of the season. The way things are shaping up, the Generals will be one of the younger teams in the VIJHL but Johns expects them to be an exciting team.
“We’ve got kids from Boston, Colorado, Minnesota, California to go along with our locals, it’s a good mix,” Johns said. “Lots of young players, lots of new faces, so it’s going to be exciting from that aspect. In terms of the team itself, we have a good idea of what we want to put out on the ice, a competitive team that will bring lots of energy and bring some excitement back into the community for the fans.”
One of the players both Johns and Gravel are looking forward to seeing in a Generals uniform will be Mathieu Jallabert.
A talented player in his own right, Jallabert is looking forward to putting in a full season with the Generals after being an AP call up last year.
“I’m really excited to be coming in here and playing here,” Jallabert said. “It’s close to home, which is nice, and this is a team that’s starting fresh. There’s going to be lots of new guys but everyone is really excited about getting things going.”
Both Johns and Gravel were extremely pleased knowing that Jallabert chose to come to the Generals over playing for the Nanaimo Buccaneers. Described by Johns as a “dynamic, exciting player, who if given room can dance like he’s in a phonebooth”, Jallabert just hopes to fit in with his teammates and put the puck in the back of the net.
“I’ll be looking to do whatever I can to help the team win some games,” Jallabert said.
“Whether it’s setting guys up, throwing the body around or putting the puck in the next, I can’t wait to get out there and show what I can do.”