Gone Camping!


Written on 9/17/2010 by Jim Cerny

So often throughout the course of the year you hear fans---or media---or players---or even coaches---complain about how long the National Hockey League season drags on.

Funny then how everyone connected to hockey seems to be so over-the-top excited that training camps FINALLY opened up today!

I mean REALLY over-the-top excited.

My e-mail and Twitter messages have absolutely blown up the past week or so in anticipation of today. And then today, the actual official start to the long grind as it so often referred to, hockey folk have been scrounging for every morsel they can find on the 'net or through any and every social media outlet in creation.

And you know what? I think it's awesome. Because I am as fired up as you.

It doesn't matter how many training camps I have covered, it just doesn't get old for me. Doesn't matter that I spent about five hours today watching 60 New York Rangers take part in coach John Tortorella's exhausting conditioning drills without ever once seeing a puck on the ice. In fact, no pucks until Sunday! But bring it on, hockey is back!

Rangers center Brian Boyle really summed up what so many NHL players and prospects feel heading into camp when he told me today, "The worst part of training camp is the night before because you are so anxious. I just love being out here with the guys, even when we're doing these tough tests. That's better than the waiting. The night before is just so tough."

Similar sentimants have been shared through Twitter-land the past 24 hours. Blues defenseman Erik Johnson (@ErikJohnson6) Tweeted last night about sharing a spaghetti dinner with a few of his 'mates and how excited they were for the start of camp. Matt Moulson of the Islanders (@mmoulson) shared similar feelings of being excited to get camp started last night. And today the likes of Atlanta's Evander Kane (@EKaneAtl9) and Bobby Ryan of Anaheim (@b_ryan9) Tweeted stories from the first day of training camp, including Ryan's joy that his stationary bike broke down just in time to wipe out his conidtioning test for the day!

My Inbox and Twitter messages overflowed today because the fans are just as hungry---if not more so---as the players for the NHL season to get underway. My fellow writers on the Rangers beat, like Steve Zipay of Newsday and Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record and Jesse Spector of The NY Daily News, worked their fingers numb Tweeting, blogging, and writing the latest news today.

And did I mention already that no hockey actually took place? Just physicals, conditioning tests, and speaking with the media (see Sidney Crosby photo). That's all. And you out there still clamored for every hint of information.

I think that's pretty cool.

Here's to a great grind of a season!

Follow me on Twitter at: @jimcerny and @thenyrangers

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