Where did the off-season go?

Seems the off-season was short. It feels as if we just got done against the Ice Dogs at the end of March, and now we are gearing up to play them in an exhibition game tonight in Dryden.
Wow, where did time go? But it definitely is exciting that the new season is coming up rapidly.
Last week brought the Lakers’ main camp and many tough decisions. Some 38 players participated in the four-day event that saw us play five scrimmages.
We have since cut down to 29 players in camp, and will be cutting down to 24 or 25 by this weekend.
When you read this, we will have had two full practices in and be playing in Dryden as we speak.
We only will dress nine veterans from last season tonight while the remaining 11 players in the lineup will be showcasing their talents to the coaching staff in hopes of joining the Lakers’ roster for the 2010-11 season.
Ten local players still are with the team—and have a great chance of making the squad this season.
The team was disappointed not to see the return of two veterans Jordan Carne and Irv Lockman. Jordan decided to complete his work in Marathon until October and then attend school in Thunder Bay.
This is a big loss to our program as Jordan led our team in scoring in the playoffs, and was a big reason why we were successful in the second half of the season.
It will be tough to fill his spot on a forward line.
It is not known why Irv decided not to return, but he is a character player and depth guy who also had success in the later part of last season and into the playoffs.
Irv’s presence around the team will be missed as he was always a character and fun person to be around.
Our organization wishes these two players the best of luck.
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 In saying this, we welcome back vice-president Jim Fowler to the board. Jim was a big reason the team started last season and had success in its first year as an organization.
He will be, as always, an added addition to the board with his hockey knowledge and all that he does for this team.
Good to have you back, Jim.
In related news, we are looking to add an assistant coach. Those interested should contact me at wayne@fortfranceslakers.com with a complete résumé, as well as a paragraph on why you would like to join the staff.
We will take our time on choosing the right person to fill this position.
We have filled out trainer position. Dale Cooper will be returning to the team, with help from Duane Sinclair.
A big sigh of relief came to me when Dale called and told me the news Saturday. He is awesome at this job, and I’m sure he will groom Duane into being the same way.
The players should be very happy with Dale returning and Duane’s addition!
Finally, we still are in need of a billet family to house one player.
Anyone interested is asked to contact Mary Cooper at 274-6608 or Mary Polz at 274-7264.
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After tonight’s game in Dryden, the Lakers will host the Sioux Lookout Warriors in exhibition action this Friday (Sept. 3) at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Then the Ice Dogs will be here next Wednesday (Sept. 8) for an exhibition showdown.
Lastly, we will host the expansion Wisconsin Wilderness in our final exhibition game on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 2:30 p.m.
I anticipate a strong squad from coach Rod Aldoff, and it will be good to measure ourselves against his hockey team.
Tickets for all exhibition games cost $5 at the door, and we hope to pack the rink to let these three teams know the Lakers are back in town and that we’ll be tough to beat in front of our local faithful!
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We then will prepare for the regular-season opener as the defending champ Fort William North Stars pay a visit on Friday, Sept. 17.
Seven of our first nine games are at home, and we will be looking to take advantage of this opportunity to get the season off to a good start.
Season tickets remain on sale and you also can purchase your “400 Club” tickets around town. Your support is needed as we try to continue to ice a local junior ‘A’ hockey team.
Purchasing a “400 Club” ticket gives you a chance to win some or all of the $10,000 in winnings that will be given out.
Buying a season ticket, meanwhile, helps the team operate and gives you the chance to watch some exciting junior ‘A’ hockey here in town.
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The Lakers will be hosting a fundraiser golf tournament at Kitchen Creek on Saturday, Sept. 11.
It will feature a four-person, best ball format, with the entry fee being $75/person.
To register, call Glen at the pro shop (274-4653).