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Training Camp Starts Today!

Camp started this morning with physicals and fitness testing. A lot of the guys have already been skating together leading up to camp, which is always a good sign. Sixty players were invited to camp this year, with two not able to participate due to injury, Alex Picard, who is recovering from a horrible knee injury suffered at the end of the AHL season last year, and Zenon Konopka, who needed a second surgery to fix a broken hand.

The remaining 58 players, comprising 32 forwards, 20 defensemen and 6 goaltenders, were split into two teams, White and Blue. I've listed the rosters at the bottom of the blog page, and as cuts are made i will update the list until we have our team picked.

There are 6 invites to this year's camp. Goaltender Adam Munro, who has an AHL-only contract with Syracuse, will likely back-up Popperle for the Crunch this year. If he earns a contract with Columbus after camp, the Jackets will be able to call him up if necessary, allowing Pops to get starts in the AHL. Two players who played for the Crunch last year under AHL contracts, Jekabs Redlihs and Jeff Szwez, are looking to get NHL contracts. Redlihs is a former CBJ draft pick who had a solid season for the Crunch last year, and Szwez could give Shelley a run for his money at the enforcer position.

Joel Bouchard and Brian Sipotz are a pair of defensemen who also recieved invites to CBJ camp. Bouchard is a talented puck moving blueliner, but he has been bit hard by the injury bug over the years. He played in a handful of games for Bridgeport of the AHL last season, and could be headed back to the A as a member of the Crunch. Sipotz, who played in the Atlanta organization last year, is absolutely huge. He's 6'6", 213lbs and put up 2G-10A-12PTS with 36 PIMS in 73 games with Chicago of the AHL last year. He and Bouchard will likely duke it out for either the seventh defenseman spot for the Jackets, or a spot on the Crunch blueline.

Former CBJ draft pick and college player Kevin Jarman was recently not offered a contract after completing his senior year. He was however, offered an invite to CBJ camp and he is looking to secure a contract. If he does get a contract, i expect him to be in the ECHL this season with Dayton.

The main camp activities start tomorrow. Both the Blue and White teams will have On-ice, off-ice and video sessions tomorrow and Saturday, and on Sunday, the White team will have on-ice and off-ice sessions, and the Blue team will face the Nashville Predators in the first pre-season game of the year.