After a long flight from Long Island to Saskatoon, the New York Islanders officially opened training camp today. We caught up with Sound Tigers fan favorite Pascal Morency to get his thoughts on the first day of training camp.
Q: This is your first NHL Training camp. Tell us about the experience on the first day today.
A: It's been great so far. We had our first practice today and I was getting ready for it all summer, both physically and mentally. I spent the whole summer preparing and now I'm trying to focus on taking advantage of every opportunity I can get.
Q: What did you do this summer to prepare yourself for this?
A: I was up in Montreal for two months. There were a lot of players up there so we got to skate almost every day of the week. The fact that I got to play with professionals all summer was great. I also was doing some mental training by reading a lot. I enjoy reading books about successful people because it inspires me.
Q: Your work ethic is something that people on the team really admire. Tell us about that.
A: I just never give up. I'm 27 years old and people say that I might be past my prime, but I try to focus on the opportunity and stay positive. I've learned that you aren't born a winner or loser and you can't give up if things don't go well. If things go wrong it makes me a stronger person.
Q: What did you learn from head coach Scott Gordon in today's first practice?
A: Coach Gordon wants the guys to be intense and I like that. He wants us to pay attention to details and watch the little things. There was one time I made the wrong decision on a play and he told me and the next time I did it right.
Q: Tell me about the leadership role you're taking with the team this year.
A: I think leadership is shown by how you practice and how you carry yourself on the ice. You need to work hard on the ice and do everything right. It's not just talking but more about what you do when people aren't watching. I like to surround myself with positive people.
Q: What did you do off the ice this summer?
A: Well, we got some great news a few weeks ago that my wife is pregnant so that was very exciting. I also spent a lot of time with my family which was nice. We didn't do anything in particular but the moments just sitting outside talking with them were priceless.
Q: What are some of the things you are looking forward to this year with the Islanders and the Sound Tigers?
A: I'm going to focus on trying to make it to the Islanders. You need to focus on trying to move up because if you give up on that goal it can affect your game. I try to look at all the positives.
Rise and Shine: The players in the first group had an early morning as their on-ice session for Day 1 began at 7 a.m. For most hockey players, to wake up at 6:15, be at the rink by 6:30 and on the ice by 7 would work fine, but not when you're in the NHL. Group 1 was up bright and early and boarded a bus at 5:45 a.m. to the arena for stretching and on-ice preparation. The second group's session did not begin until 9:45 a.m.
Trevor Smith - Greg Moore - Jeremy Reich
Matt Moulson - Greg Mauldin - Jon Sim
Jeff Tambellini - Josh Bailey - Blake Comeau
Sean Bentivoglio - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman
Andy Sutton - Freddy Meyer
Jack Hillen - Andrew MacDonald
Dustin Kohn - Mark Flood
Sean Bergenheim - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
Micheal Haley - Tomas Marcinko - Richard Park
Doug Weight - John Tavares - Trent Hunter
Mark Streit - Bruno Gervais
Brendan Witt - Radek Martinek
Calvin de Haan - Jan Piskacek
Justin DiBenedetto - Bobby Hughes - Robin Figren
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Joel Rechlicz
Jesse Joensuu - Tony Romano - Pascal Morency
Jyri Niemi - Mark Katic
Anton Klementyev - Brett Westgarth
Jan Piskacek - Calvin de Haan