After watching classmate Brandon Straub compete Sunday at Avalanche rookie camp in Centennial, former Colorado College goaltender Matt Zaba boarded a plane bound for New York on Wednesday. According to Newsday's New York Rangers beat writer, Zaba is displaying his Tiger pride at Rangers training camp.
Former Tiger Mark Cullen (1998-02) signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings in July. He's one of 68 players on the Red Wings' training camp roster.
This is a little old, but better late than never: Tyler Liebel, a right wing who played for CC from 2000 to 2004, will return to the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League this season.
Some notes from captain's practice (Tuesday, Sept. 11)
The Tigers didn't scrimmage, aside from a chippy game of continuous 3-on-3 hockey at the north end of the rink. Freshman Tyler Johnson, who is listed as 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, caught some glass-bending checks from junior defenseman Jake Gannon. Johnson's hands are as quick as advertised. A few of Johnson's shifty moves to goal prompted 'oohs' and 'ahhs' from the onlooking players, so maybe Gannon was hoping to toughen Johnson up for significant minutes this season. I will look into this at the next practice.
Aside from the 3-on-3, CC did tons of skating, shooting and conditioning drills. I happened to be sitting at the south end of the rink during one round of 4-on-goal. Freshman goaltender Richard Bachman stopped eight or nine shots and rebounds during one impressive succession, which left some of the forwards shaking their heads in disbelief. The drill was not intended to be a "goalie success" drill.
Injured alternate captain Jimmy Kilpatrick (hip labrum) appeared in sweats and watched practice from behind the glass with trainer Jason Bushie and strength coach Mark Stephenson. The practice was scheduled from 9:15-10:15, but Stephenson put the Tigers through a few extra conditioning drills at the end.
Lastly, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out that sophomore forward Addison DeBoer was on the ice because I simply did not recognize him. In a few months time, DeBoer is taller, his neck is thicker and his shoulders are broader -- all indications that some hard work occurred over the summer. After the skate, I spoke with him about his summer training regimen.
In addition to skating "a lot" and training six days a week, DeBoer also worked 40 hours a week for the City of Spring Lake Park (Minn.), his hometown, picking up trash, landscaping and working on other public works projects.
DeBoer added at least 10 pounds and "an inch or so," which puts him at 6-foot, 190 pounds, he said.
"It was bound to happen sooner or later," DeBoer said of his growth spurt.
He said he can tell the difference on the ice. So can I.
--Some might have missed the audio slideshow that Gazette photographer Todd Spoth and I produced about Straub's experience at Avalanche rookie camp. Check it out here.
--For those of you that will be out of the area over the Thanksgiving weekend, it might behoove you to know that Denver's new Webcast service will carry the Nov. 24 CC-DU matchup at Magness Arena. It'll cost you $8.95, but you know how the Visa commercials go.