HOLTY’S BLOG: It’s all in the details

Eight days from opening night. There are usually two dreams I have this time of year. If we open on the road, it’s that I forgot to pack the radio gear. If we open at home, it’s usually I forgot what time the game starts and miss opening puck drop.

But, it’s a fun time of year. There’s an air of optimism. Though, it’s still high 90’s in Condorstown. You may like high 90’s in October, but I’d like some sweatshirt weather. And as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Now for the blog…

A lot of training camp content to sift through on the Training Camp Hub. First, let’s start with the new bench boss, Jay Woodcroft. When he was asked by media this week on why he accepted this job (he had other opportunities in years past), he mentioned it was the right time and the right place. He’s excited to be here and that enthusiasm has carried over into the dressing room.

Ryan Stanton joked with me earlier in the week that he felt like the old guy in the room (he’s 29) and that he was excited to get Brad Malone back to take up that torch (he’s two months older than Stanton). Brad welcomed his first son during the offseason and is ready for the opportunity to once again be a leader in the dressing room.

Offensively, two guys who have exemplified the work ethic and commitment to getting better each day mantra of the coaching staff have been Tyler Benson and Joe Gambardella. Benson is a high 2nd round pick and Gambardella looks to take the next step after notching 13 goals as a rookie last year.

Defensively, Stanton, Keegan Lowe, and Kevin Gravel provide the veteran leadership and although there are still decisions to be made in Edmonton which could benefit the Condors, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson have impressed on the blue line. We’ve talked about Jones’ offseason dedication to being better prepared for the season and it’s showed so far. Lagesson, a shutdown type d-man from Sweden, has already initiated himself into the Condors (Oilers) / Heat (Flames) rivalry with a tilt against noted pest Ryan Lomberg.

Some transaction news this morning: Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin and Ryan Van Stralen were assigned to Wichita (ECHL). Colin Jacobs, Dylan Labbe, Justin Lemcke, Keoni Texeira were released from the try-out agreements. That brings the Condors numbers to 29 players remaining in training camp (3 goaltenders, 9 d-men, and 17 forwards).

Edmonton reduced their training camp numbers to 28 after assigning Ryan McLeod to the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. Should note that only 27 players of the 28 left (Even Bouchard the exception) are eligible to play in Bakersfield currently. There are still players in Edmonton on try-out agreements who would have to be signed to contracts, so some decisions yet to be made on who else the Condors might see before Opening Weekend.

Earlier this week, Mitch Callahan, Braden Christoffer, and Patrick Russell dropped in to surprise some Condors365 Members with their ticket packages for the season.

There won’t be any broadcasts of the games this weekend at home on Saturday or up the 99 on Sunday. There will be live scoring though through the AHL website. We will start with our first Condors Insider on Wednesday at 4 p.m. on Fox Sports 970 AM and through the iHeartRadio App.

LOCK OF THE WEEK: A decent weekend last time out. Let’s try to keep it going. Entertainment purposes only.

NOTRE DAME (-5.5) v Stanford (love this actually, which means the Irish will lose)
WEST VIRGINIA (-3.5) @ Texas Tech (guaranteed over too)
INDIANAPOLIS (-1) v Houston (the Texans are awful)
NEW ORLEANS (-3) @ New York Giants (Giants won last week, so they won’t win this week)
SEATTLE (-3) @ Arizona (the Cardinals are terrible)

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt is the Voice of the Condors and enters his 8th season in 2018-19. He always says he’ll do dry cleaning before the summer and have everything neatly put away before the season. Maybe next year. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.