Rebels get back to work

The Red Deer Rebels veteran players register this morning for an extended training camp that will run more than a week. The 2014 camp was five days in length, including a registration day, while this year’s gathering of returning players and prospects will be an eight-day affair, today’s registration and Thursday’s on-ice conditioning stints for the veterans included.

The Red Deer Rebels veteran players register this morning for an extended training camp that will run more than a week.

The 2014 camp was five days in length, including a registration day, while this year’s gathering of returning players and prospects will be an eight-day affair, today’s registration and Thursday’s on-ice conditioning stints for the veterans included.

“The returning players will register at 10 a.m. Wednesday and then do some off-ice conditioning in the afternoon,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said Tuesday.

The veterans will hit the Centrium ice Friday at 9:30 a.m. for a 90-minute practice session that will be followed by a pro skate — featuring the likes of Vancouver Canucks centre Brandon Sutter and Winnipeg Jets defenceman Paul Postma and forward Matt Fraser — from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The returnees will then engage in practice drills from 1:30 to 3 p.m. to close out the day.

Saturday’s itinerary is identical to Friday’s and the rookies will register Saturday and scrimmage for the first time Sunday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The first main camp scrimmage will go Sunday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and the rookies will be back on the ice from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

“The camp schedule is much the same as last year expect we’re starting the rookies later,” said Sutter.

On Monday, the veterans will be on the ice from 8 to 8:45 a.m., 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. and from 5 to 6:30 p.m., with the rookies scrimmaging from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Main camp will resume Tuesday with 45-minute sessions starting at 8 and 9 a.m. and a final 90-minute scrimmage beginning at 4:30 p.m. The rookies will take over for a 90-minute scrimmage starting at 10 a.m.

Wednesday’s final day of camp will feature the Black and White intra-squad game at 7 p.m., to be preceded by separate pre-game skates resuming at 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. The pro skate will go from noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.

With the exception of Meyer Nell, all players eligible to return will register for camp today, including forwards Michael Spacek, who was selected in June’s CHL import draft, and off-season trade acquisitions Ivan Nikolishin and Lane Pederson.

“Meyer Nell told me in June he was considering quitting hockey and attending the University of Manitoba,” said Sutter.

“I talked to him last week and he confirmed that’s what he’ll be doing.”

The Rebels will be minus the services of seven players for a week to two weeks in September, with all slated to attend NHL rookie camps and possibly main camps. The list includes Conner Bleackley (Colorado), Haydn Fleury (Carolina), Adam Musil (St. Louis), Nelson Nogier (Winnipeg), Evan Polei (Detroit), Spacek (Winnipeg) and Pederson (Anaheim).

The team will open preseason play Sept. 5 versus the Edmonton Oil Kings at St. Albert. The Rebels will also compete in the Tri-City tournament Sept. 11 and 12, taking on the host Americans and the Spokane Chiefs, before facing the Oil Kings Sept. 18 at the Centrium and the Medicine Hat Tigers 24 hours later at Stettler.

The Rebels’ regular-season opener is Sept. 26 against the visiting Oil Kings.

• Two of the three graduating Rebels have committed to college and university for this fall, with Riley Sheen set to attend NAIT and Brett Cote enrolled at the University of Manitoba. Brooks Maxwell, meanwhile, may start serving a two-year Mormon mission.

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