BENCHMARKS WITH ASSISTANT COACH DANNY FLYNN
(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) "At this point we're trying to get a very quick handle on 60 players. We're learning more every day and trying to put together some line combinations and defense pairings in our minds. There are legitimately still spots up for grabs on the big club.
"A lot of NHL teams go to camps with spots pre-determined. In this case it's fair to say there are still decisions to be made and some jobs available. Teddy reiterated that to the guys. He also told them we want to play a certain style of game and have a certain trademark of what this club is about. He's reminded them on a daily basis and to work towards that.
"We'll make some decisions on Thursday. We'll take anywhere from 26-30 players with us for the Moncton and Halifax games. The other 30 will stay behind. Hopefully, most guys will get a game in with rookies against the two universities or with the Islanders against the Bruins.
"Everyone will head back to New York the same day. From there, some guys will be re-assigned to Bridgeport, some to Junior or the East Coast League and obviously some guys will stay with us.
"There are number of guys who have a chance to work their way onto this team. And (Robert Nilsson and Jeff Tambellini) are two of those guys in that group. Training camp for them is important. We have a new coaching staff and we don't know a lot about what happened last year. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. We've asked those guys -- and I think they know who they are -- to earn their spot. Garth (Snow) will make the decision on those final two or three spots.
"If you're competitive sometimes sparks will fly at any level. But if you're a young guy like (Joe) Grimaldi or (Brandon) Cullen and your grit has gotten you to this camp, you stick with what's brought you. And those guys have done that. They're character guys and they've surely been noticed.
"We've done some mixing and matching for tonight's game. Since none of us were here last year, we're looking at guys at different positions to see how we can best get the most out of the group that's here. We have an overabundance of guys who have played center during the past so we're looking at guys who can over to the wing to best get the most out of what they're bringing."