"I love the fact that guys are falling down," said assistant GM Don Sweeney. "Guys are really trying to do the things. There was nobody mailing it in there out from the power skating side of things."
* The most interesting drill showcased the importance of sound positioning and a quick stick for defensemen. Each defenseman had to go one-on-one with three forwards in succession -- one against the right-side wall, another against the left-side boards, and the last one in the high slot. To be successful, the defenseman had to be square to the puck carrier, be strong with the stick, rub out his opponent when necessary with a check, and not lunge out of position. By the time the third forward had gone, each defenseman was running on empty. Tough, tough stuff. Not an easy position to play.
* Dougie Hamilton will need at least one more of year of junior to bulk up and prepare for the battling of pro hockey. But it's easy to see the pieces that are in place -- a good stick, slick skating, soft hands. "He's got a lot of upside," Sweeney said. "I don't think anybody in our organization feels that he's pigeonholed in any capacity, be it defensive D-man, offensive D-man. I think he's just going to be a real good, solid, two way-player."
* To these eyes, the players most pro-ready are Tommy Cross, Jared Knight, Craig Cunningham, Ryan Spooner, Tyler Randell, Marc Cantin, David Warsofsky, and Ryan Button. Age and experience are so critical at this stage of development.
* Button is sporting some nasty welts on his back. Courtesy of being pumped by three gunners in paintball yesterday.
* The players will scrimmage tomorrow (11:15 a.m.) for the first time.