Last week, a group of Stars players made calls to organize high-level training sessions in the Dallas area.
On Monday, their plan came together.
Headlined by Pittsburgh Penguins stars Sidney Crosby and James Neal, a group of approximately 20 NHLers convened on the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Plano, TX. for a five-day “camp” led by former Panthers assistant coach Jim Hulton.
“We just made some phone calls and got some players to buy in on it, and here we are,” Stars defenseman Trevor Daley told the Dallas News. “We’re serious about it. We want to come in here and have a serious workout and get ready as if we’re going to be playing soon, because I think we all hope we’ll be playing soon.”
Hulton was hired to run drills and a support staff was brought in to take care of equipment.
As for the guys involved, the majority of participants are Stars players (Mark Fistric, Eric Nystrom, Vern Fiddler, Ray Whitney, Richard Bachman and Daley) with a few others holding ties to the organization.
Three players on the Dallas roster from a year ago — Steve Ott (now with Buffalo), Adam Pardy (ditto) and Sheldon Souray (Anaheim) — are in town. The rest of the camp attendees are from all over the NHL: Ryane Clowe, Chris Kunitz, Mike Weber, Cam Fowler, Dan Cleary, Ryan Malone, Teddy Purcell and Aaron Johnson.
Souray said the goal of the camp was to get everyone into game shape, as if the season was to start soon.
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” he said. “We’re trying to prepare in a way where we’ll be ready if we’re asked to play quickly.”