I recently spoke to Jim Ingram, GM/Head Coach of the BCHL's Cowichan Capitals. Here's what he has to say about preparing for the season, his players, and Christmas!
Q - First exhibition game of the new season. How crazy has it been to this point getting ready for the upcoming season?
A - "You know what? Not that crazy. It's hectic and it's tiring, mentally draining and all that. But the kids have done a really good job. They came in great shape and we've had some tough decisions already and they are going to get tougher as we get going down the road here. Yeah it's hectic but at the same time, you know what's coming every August and early September. Mentally, as a Coaching staff, you kinda get ready for it and you know... we're having a lot of fun!"
Q - Can you give our readers an appreciation of the number of decisions when it comes to player moves, in general, what you go through?
A - "I think a lot of it's the background work you need to do. Our team, and I will speak to it because it's the one I truly know, we had so many holes to fill so it was a busy April on for us. We knew the holes we needed to fill were big ones. At the same time we have had some real nice surprises through the off season here and have fallen either onto our lap or we made deals and picked up. We are certainly happy with those guys. Again, it's just a lot of phone time, a lot of computer time and touching base with contacts."
Q - Give us one player, someone to watch this season.
A - "A couple come to mind. On the back end Tyler Mueller ('94), a kid that we got out of Dauphin about a month ago in a deal. Another one that we committed to out of spring camp, out of the major midget league, is Rylan Bechtel ('95). Both of them are D-Men. They have had really strong camps - for different reasons. Tyler has a year under his belt already and Rylan is a rookie. He is a very solid, very smooth skating with strong upper body and he has caught not only the coaching staff but also our scouts' eyes. Again, they're young and there is players up front that have had really good camps. You know what? The season's long and we are happy right now but there is an absolute ton of work to do."
Q - Talk a little bit about the BCHL Showcase coming up. Big event, counts in the regular season, how is that going to tax your team at the beginning of the year?
A - "Well, I don't know how taxing it will be. I think what it will do is give us a real good look at where our team is at. We have some big question marks. I don't think so much in can they play or not play, it's how far along the evolution change into a junior hockey player are they. That's a great part about the early season is you get to see where you are at. We know we got a ton of work to do here in Cowichan with the number of new guys. I am really looking forward to it and I know the coaching staff is certainly looking forward to it. But it's one of those things were you got to almost wait - it's like Christmas morning. You open it [the season] up and see what's under the tree and in the box. And then you go from there. That's the attitude we have. We are going to work hard at it and try to get going with these kids early. We like what we see! "
[The Cowichan Capitals have no less than 9 rookies listed on their roster as of Saturday, 25 August.]