A pos­si­ble in­fu­sion of tal­ent

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - BY DAVE KEARSEY [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_S­port­sDesk

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.”


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