With less than a month before 2017-2018 season training camps open, Hartford Jr. Wolfpack first year general manager and head coach Mike Tenney is more than ready to hit the ice with his squad.
By Jim Smith
“It’s a hard time of the year to be patient, let’s put it that way,” chuckled Tenney during a recent conversation about his team’s summer progress. “The waiting is the hardest part. It is starting to come together. The lineup is just about done and we want to see how they look on the ice.”
As summer tilts toward fall, Tenney has had his team play in United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) summer activities and tournaments.
“While we had a core of kids from our team, we want to see them with the rest of the guys that will be on our team,” Tenney said. “At this time of year [the tournament teams] are 75 percent your own players. It is a good opportunity to keep playing at a good competitive level. Guys want to stay in as close to game shape as they can.”
As Hartford readies for its move to the USPHL this season, Tenney has been impressed with the interest of college scouts.
“We had an 8 a.m. game recently and there were five, six or seven college scouts watching,” Tenney added. “When you have the dedication from guys that early, you know you are doing something right. The USPHL does a really good job of promoting their events, and making sure there are scouts there so that all the kids get the looks that they need.
“It is a good opportunity for exposure. That never stops. It is a year-round thing and with the tournaments the USPHL puts on,” he added.”It is an opportunity to get looked at.”
“The colleges pretty much have their teams set for this coming fall, now they are starting in the summer for the following year,” Tenney said. “It is nice to be able to put some players out there, and maybe get them on the radar for the season and then those coaches will circle back as the season goes on.”
As Tenney is more than likely counting down the days until he will be coaching on the ice with this team, he is finalizing the multiple tasks his role as general manager requires.
“It is a necessary part of the job, but I am getting close to getting on the ice. I am really excited about the season starting and getting everybody back on the ice.”
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