With training camp in the rear view mirror, the Save-On-Foods Oceanside Generals are focused on the start of their season, August 27 against the Nanaimo Buccaneers.
The Generals will be in Nanaimo to take on the Bucs in exhibition action but head coach Jason Johns is excited to see his new team in action, playing together as a unit after battling hard against one another to earn a spot on the roster.
“It was a great camp, there was lots of good, healthy competition and that’s what you like to see,” Johns said.
“Things got pretty chippy on the last day and we had guys who were doing whatever they could, fighting included, to try and earn a spot on this team. It’s a good thing to see the competitiveness come out and we’re happy that nobody was hurt as a result of it too.”
There was another addition for the upcoming season with former player Carson McCulloch joining the coaching staff. McCulloch will serve as an assistant, along with returning assistant coach Rob Gaudreault.
“We’re really happy to have Carson on board with us,” Johns said. “He’s got some good knowledge of the game and he’s really excited to help out as a coach, giving him a different vantage point of the game. He’s going to be doing a lot of the video work for us this season so he can’t wait to get his feet wet as a coach and help this team win some games.”
Johns said he figures the Generals are going to lose between eight to 10 players to junior A level hockey, which left the door open at training camp for a lot of new faces to make a name for themselves and earn a spot with the Gens.
“We’re close, but nothing is written in stone just yet,” Johns said about the roster. “We’re going to see what happens with some of our players who are off to junior A camps this week. Once all that settles down, we’ll have a better idea of who’s going to be where and what we can expect with our team going forward.”
“That being said, we have a pretty good idea already of what we want on the ice so it’s a matter of waiting it out and seeing what we’re presented with.”
There will be lots of new changes going forward, and with the recent addition of McCulloch to go along with a slew of new players looking to make the team, Johns can’t help but smile when thinking of what’s in store for this season.
“I’m really excited for it all, everything to do with this team gets me pumped,” Johns said. “There’s been a lot of positive change so far since I’ve been here and it’s only going to continue going forward. We’ve got a few surprises planned for opening night, so we’re hoping to see the fans come out and be a part of this new direction our team and organization is headed in.”