The Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals will take to the ice this weekend for their Spring Camp, Friday through Sunday at Oceanside Place.
It’s a camp that’s going to bring in a lot of the younger talent that Generals GM Rob Gaudreault has been scouting since taking the position full-time earlier this year. For Gaudreault, there are some kids that can come into a camp like this and make an impact, but it’s about seeing what the future holds.
“It’s going to be a smaller camp than last year’s was,” Gaudreault said. “That being said, it gives us a real good look at each player that comes in and we’ll be able to get a good idea of what sort of a player and person they are. A camp like this is something that really allows you to see what’s coming in down the line, one or two years from now. Some players are going to be good enough that they’d make the team this year, but it’s more geared to getting them in here and getting them into our system.”
With Brad Knight hired as the new head coach for the Generals for the 2015-2016 season, Gaudreault knows that Knight’s name alone will garner some interest from players looking for a place to play this season. But his plan to put the distractions of the last two seasons behind the team and start fresh will also be a selling point.
“We want to attract kids to come play here,” Gaudreault said. “It’s going to be a different approach to things for us, both on and off the ice. With Brad, we’ve got a coach who’s got a great track record and he’s someone that’s going to bring in a few kids on that alone. But we really need to make sure that it’s about setting up a good environment for players who are thinking of coming and playing here. We want them to know that we’ll be putting a competitive team out there on the ice, a team that’s going to do well under the new coaching staff and really be able to get on board with the direction we want to take this team.”
Gaudreault said the biggest challenge was turning people into believers of the Generals. A challenge that he is prepared to take on.
“That was one of the tougher parts,” he said. “Getting out there and getting people to believe in the Gens as an organization was very important for me. We’re just looking to get these kids to the rink and getting them to come out to see what Brad has to offer as a coach and what we have to offer them as a team. Once they’re here, they’ll see what we’ve got to offer.”