Gary Gill was on the road most of July.
The head coach of the Cheyenne Stampede went on a 26-day recruiting journey that took him through Nashville, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas. He was only home for a couple of days during the month.
The lengthy recruiting trip allowed him the chance to check out the talent available as he looks to fill in the final roster spots. It also added to the build-up of excitement for the season ahead as Gill prepares for his first year as the coach of the Stampede.
â€œThe trip was quite an adventure and I saw a lot of good players. I am getting pretty excited about the season starting up soon,â€ Gill said. â€œWe have a good core of returning guys and some new players to mix things up. We have good skill players and strong role players. We have set ourselves up to have success.â€
With recruiting out of the way, the Stampede have shifted their attention to its upcoming open tryout camp. It will take place Aug. 16-19 in Cheyenne as the team takes aim at finalizing its roster for the Western States Hockey League season.
â€œWe are expecting about 45-60 players at the camp,â€ Gill said. â€œThe good thing about it being in Cheyenne is that maybe a player or two from the area will come out and make the team. Weâ€™re still looking to fill a few defense and forward positions and our plan is to offer contracts to some players.â€
The official training camp for the Stampede begins at the end of August and the team will also get a chance to play a few games before skating into the new season.
â€œWe will play a few exhibition games, which will be good for us in terms of preparing for the season, but weâ€™ll open camp by working as hard as possible over the first three weeks of camp,â€ Gill said. â€œI’m excited about getting things started. The owners have been very supportive of our efforts to make Cheyenne a team that can be one of the better teams in the league.â€
The key to success for the Stampede is playing hard every time they step onto the ice.
â€œWe want to take a step forward and build on what has already been accomplished here,â€ Gill said. â€œI want our players to compete at a high level the entire game. If we have players who do that, we are going to be successful.â€
E-mail GM@cheyennestampede.com if youâ€™re interested in attending the tryout camp.