Thunderbirds wrap up tryout campSunday, June 03, 2012 by: Brad Coccimiglio
The Soo Thunderbirds will have a lot of new faces in the lineup when the 2012-13 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season opens up in September.
The 2011-12 Thunderbirds roster featured eight 20-year-olds, which includes four of the team’s top five scorers in Micky Sartoretto (first, 97 points), Matt Amadio (second, 78 points), Brett Campbell (third, 44 points) and Kevin Michelcavage (fifth, 42 points) as well as starting goaltender John Kleinhans.
Over the weekend, the Thunderbirds held a spring tryout camp and General Manager Kevin Cain said that, although the team didn’t plan to sign many players from the camp, many players earned spots when the team holds its tryout later in the summer.
“It was a long weekend for them,” said Cain. “A lot of them put in a lot of work. It was an interesting weekend. There were some surprise kids. When you have an open camp like this it gives a lot of local kids an opportunity to come and see what it’s all about and what it’s going to take to get to the next level. In that regard it was a good weekend. There were lots of good local kids. We’ll bring a bunch back and see how they fare at main camp in August.”
Cain added that the team did not intend to sign a large group of players from the camp as the team waits on the decisions of some of the returning players.
“We didn’t do a lot of signing of guys because we still have some questions about who we’re bringing back from our veteran group,” said Cain. “We didn’t want to get into a situation where we signed a bunch of guys and then the opportunity wasn’t there come September.
As far as the goaltending situation, Cain said the team would use the summer to look into adding a goaltender
“My heart can’t take not having adequate goaltending so that will be a big priority over the next month or two to ensure that, even come August camp, that we’re in good shape and we have guys that we know can play,” said Cain.
Cain also addressed the hiring of a new coach for the team. The GM said that applications are still being accepted but doesn’t expect the process to drag on much longer.
“I certainly don’t see it going past another seven to ten days,” said Cain.