NOTE: Looks like Friday night's Sound Tigers - Whale game will be streamed live for free by the Rangers. There's another check off my bucket list: The Smurfs have done something for me.
After what feels like a longer wait than normal -- perhaps because of the summer and fall of lockout doom and gloom -- the division champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers get underway this weekend with a game Friday night in Hartford against the Whale (Rangers affiliate) and Saturday night for their home opener against the Providence Bruins.
It's been an entertaining camp from afar: New young blood with Kirill Kabanov, Brock Nelson and Nino Niederreiter, and returning blood like Casey Cizikas, and reunion/alumni blood with the pre-locout assignment of New York Islanders stud Travis Hamonic.
On paper, it sounds like a good mix of strong goaltending, young talent, and experienced but not over-the-hill AHLers. Of course, with the NHL lockout in effect, that's the "on paper" story for a lot of teams. We'll see how it all plays out, beginning tonight.
Here is a roundup of recent coverage to get you primed for the season, starting with the Sound Tigers' official video preview with play-by-play man Phil Giubileo:
- Calvin de Haan wants to return to pre-injury, AHL All-Star form. Thanks Brent Thompson. [Connecticut Post]
- Here is Fornabaio's camp wrap and chat on the blog, but there's more in the paper proper, including: Position breakdown | Despite the promise, don't forget the Tigers have much scoring to replace | Five questions about the season
- Here is the official site's training camp blog, with lots of posts from camp...
- ...including the leadership role de Haan's blueline partner Ty Wishart plays.
- Also: Mike Halmo on jumping to the pros. And video of the Swedes, who will be sharing a place as well as a line.
- Here is the season opener piece, with some talk of facing the team that ousted the division champs in a sweep last spring.
- Finally, good stuff from coach Scott Pellerin, fielding questions via Twitter (but giving answers way too long and thoughtful for Twitter).
- And I haven't tried it, but the Sound Tigers have a mobile app now.
So get ready for some action. Welcome back Micheal Haley, but pity the locked out and suddenly NHL-again Wade Redden.
If you're watching or listening or rehashing, you can use this thread to talk about the game(s) if we don't add a separate dedicated one in the interim.