A possible infusion of talent
The Central IcePak folding means the Western Kings could see tsome talent crossover.
Darren Langdon doesn’t know if there are some former members of the Central IcePak interested in suiting up with the Western Kings this season, but he’s sure the coaching staff would be willing to take a look at anybody who could possibly help them.
Langdon and Andre Cornick serve as assistant coaches to Mark Robinson for the Western Kings in the provincial major midget hockey league.
The league has been reduced to five teams this year after provincial major midget hockey league president Glenn Littlejohn confirmed Monday morning that the Central IcePak has folded from the provincial setup.
Littlejohn said the IcePak management group felt the team wouldn’t be able to ice a team this season because of a lack of commitment from the players.
Littlejohn said any player from the IcePak who still wishes to play in the league this season are eligible to try out for any of the four remaining teams.
The Kings held a number of on-ice training camp sessions over the past two weeks and 30 players showed up over the two different sessions held to date and one more scheduled for next weekend.
Interestingly enough, a goalie from the IcePak organization was among three goalies who attended training camp — returnee Lucas Park was among them.
“I don’t know what type of players are out there, but we had one goalie from central out to tryouts and we only got a couple of goalies so maybe that will be a good thing,” Langdon said Monday.
The IcePak finished fifth in the league last season with a record of three wins, 25 losses, one shootout loss and three overtime losses.
Langdon believes this poor record may have something to do with the lack of interest in central this season, but he has seen interest wane in other areas of the province at various AAA levels where a team doesn’t do well one season and opts to sit out the next year and eventually the team finds its way back into the mix.
“It’s not very fun doing that all year though, for sure,” Langdon said.
Langdon believes the Kings will have a strong team again this year, a few guys have graduated from the ranks but there are few players moving up from bantam who are looking good and some guys who were on the outside looking in last year are looking really good in training camp.
No doubt, he said, the Kings coaching staff will do what they can to put a quality product on the ice and if there’s somebody from central who can fit into the mix then they will be given a chance to prove so.
He’s just not sure if any former IcePak player is willing to take on the extra travel that comes with being a true road warrior. Anybody from central would have to drive three hours one way for all games whether they chose to play with the Kings or one of the teams located on the east coast.
“I don’t know if anybody is really committed to drive three hours to go to a practice. I don’t know how that’s going to work out,” he said. “Obviously, if there was a superstar out there they’d probably do some arranging to do that, but I don’t know how many really good players are out there to tell you the truth.”