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Wednesday at Captain’s Practice

(Originally posted on Kuklas Korner)

Apparently there were some familiar faces newly seen at Captain’s practice Tuesday, which I didn’t make it to.  Fine, I won’t take that personally.

Wednesday there was a new face from the Sharks, or new for the skates I’ve been at: Sena Acolatse.  I find it curious how easy it is for me to remember how to spell his name, but I still get all tangled up when I have to figure out a name with “ie” or “ei” in it.  I could blame that on trying to learn too many foreign languages over the years, though I’m pretty sure I would be wrong in any language. But Acolatse?  No problem, its pleasantly phonetic.  

Cam MacIntyre was there again, he was not wearing a visor. (Stern frown.)

I did get a little information about one of the non-NHLers present.  Will, an ex-college goalie, was the goalie for the day.  He got to be there through a friend of a friend.  That’s how these things are done.

It’s a good thing Will did turn up, or there might have been no goalie at all.  Being the only goalie, he was very busy.

Of practice, Acolatse (http://twitter.com/#!/blackalatse) tweeted: “Little 4 on 4 this morning. Wasn’t afraid to shadow @Burnzie88 out there. Which is probably why he potted about 9.#plusminus needs some work.”

To which Burns (http://twitter.com/#!/Burnzie88) responded: “@blackalatse hey may have had nine cookies but you ran my show on the hang cleans in the gym!! #iliftlikeatoddler”

All is well then.

The fact that Burns has been at all of the practices I’ve made it to means that if I go, and he does not appear, I will probably be alarmed. I am easily alarmed.  come to think of it, MacIntyre has been there also, and until today so was Greiss.  So much potential cause for alarm.

Burns spent some time signing autographs afterwards, and there were many small children so cute that I entirely forgot to take pictures of them.  I’m not one to go looking for cute kids, but when you dress them up in hockey fangear and pose them next to a hockey player even I have to giggle.

The crowd is growing steadily, though the signing of autographs is only a brief delay for players on their way to the locker room. That will change: by training camp, they will have to put the tape up to contain spectators, but not yet, not yet.

That new glass and those new boards I mentioned before: it is the same setup they will use at HP this season.  It is awesomely bendy.  It’s enough to make me wonder if it won’t have enough bounce to hurl players back across the ice when they hit it.  I don’t want anyone hurling himself around sooner than necessary but I am looking forward to seeing it.

Jon Gustafson, General Manager of Sharks Ice, was kind enough to provide me with some information about the glass: “The actual glass system sits in a pliable seat.  Within the boards there is a spring mechanism which allows the glass to be more flexible.”  The same system is being installed in various rinks around the NHL.

If you do go to a pre-season practice and are worried that your favorite player won’t be there, at least you can be sure the new glass will be.  That might not sound like a perfect trade-off, but those big wide panes without so many uprights to hinder your view are worth checking out.

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