TULSA, Oklahoma – The 2011 Tulsa Oilers training camp began Monday with 30 players competing for 18 spots on the Oilers final roster.
"I was very pleased with what I saw out there on the ice today," said Oilers head coach Bruce Ramsay. "I thought the guys showed good intensity, they're a hard-working bunch of guys, and I really appreciate their effort. Most of them showed up in great shape so we're hitting the ground running here, we don't have a lot of time to waste getting our skating legs underneath us."
Due to renovations at the Oilers Ice Center in Tulsa, this year's training camp is being held at the Blazers Ice Centre in Oklahoma City.
Monday's practice began with a series of drills and finished with a full 5-on-5 scrimmage.
"I don't have much time to evaluate these guys, so I wanted to see them in a game situation as soon as possible," Ramsay said. "There were a couple line combinations I really wanted to see, so overall I think it was a very productive first day."
"There's some rust in everyone's game but that's to be expected at this point," said Oilers defenseman Sean Erickson. "Even though you work out hard in the offseason, there's no substitute for getting back out there with a tough, fast-paced practice. There are no surprises with Coach Ramsay, we all know what he expects, and we all have to earn our spots."
Notable names in Oilers training camp include:
Marty Standish – A ten-year veteran of the CHL, entering his third season in Tulsa, 33 points in 2010-11, finished with a +33 rating
Michel Beausoleil – Entering fourth season in Tulsa, last year scored 25 goals in regular season and added six more in ten playoff games.
Sean Erickson – Beginning third season with the Oilers, appeared in every single game last season, finished with a career-high 36 points.
Tyler Fleck – A 13-year veteran of the CHL, entering his third season with the Oilers, played in all 66 games in 2010-11, led the team with 128 penalty minutes.
Gary Steffes – 19 goals, 24 assists last season, earned a spot on the CHL All-Rookie team, scored three game winning goals and finished third on the team in total shots.
Training camp participants will practice through Thursday before exhibition games in Wichita Oct. 14-15. After that practices will resume from Oct. 18-20 in preparation for the regular season opener Oct. 21 in Texas against the Allen Americans.
The Oilers will take the ice for its home opener Fri. Oct. 28 at 7:35 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder at the BOK Center.