PARKSVILLE — Close to 40 hockey players vying for a roster spot with the Oceanside Generals are trying to impress a new head coach this weekend.
Training camp for the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League club began Friday with workouts wrapping up today at Oceanside Place in Parksville.
This past off season seen some changes for the mid-island hockey team with Jesse Hammill taking over coaching duties from Gerry Bickerton.
Hammill was impressed with the effort he seen from rookies in camp along with some of the returning players, but he has a clear message after the Generals finished in 8th place with a record of 12-33-1-2 last season.
“We want you there on opening night but its down to you to be there opening night. There are no guarantees, last year’s team won one less game then the year before, most teams last year in the league won more games in one year than we have won in the last three, no job is safe.”
Gerry Bickerton is still with the hockey club taking over as team president and assistant coaches Scott Bickerton and Chris Lennox are back this season and will join Hammill on the bench.
“We need guys that can play two-way hockey, that are gritty, that are ignorant, that play the game almost back like the 80’s style. I’m not saying fighting, I’m saying the right way blocking shots, getting into the dirty areas giving everything you have every minute that you are on the ice.” said Hammill.
After camp wraps up today it make take some time for the roster to be set as a number of the players on the ice this weekend are expected to attend Junior A camps in the coming weeks.
The Generals will play two preseason games later this month and kick off the regular season on September 1st in Campbell River.