The Halifax Mooseheads have scrapped their popular intra-squad games at training camp.
The Mooseheads will kick off the 2012-13 season on Thursday, Aug. 16, with a two-day rookie camp at Cole Harbour Place followed by a home-and-home exhibition series with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles that Saturday and Sunday. Veterans won’t report until Monday, Aug. 20.
Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell said the later start date of the QMJHL season — Sept. 20 — played a part in the decision.
“You’re always trying to please the fans — they’re the ones who support you — but our camp is two weeks longer this year than it usually is,” he said. “We didn’t want to bring our veterans in too early … and we’re not going to have enough players to do intra-squad games those first two days.”
Four-on-four and five-on-five intrasquad games have been a long-standing tradition for the Mooseheads, with fans taking advantage of free admission to pack the stands at Cole Harbour Place despite hot summer weather.
Russell said he’s expecting between 26 and 30 rookies to vie for spots from Aug 16 to 19, with one practice Thursday night and two practices on Friday. Cuts will be made on Monday morning following the exhibition games against Cape Breton.
Veterans will report for registration and measurements on Monday and hit the ice for the first time on Tuesday.
“We didn’t want to have the veterans coming in on the 15th of August, so we pushed it back five days for them,” Russell said. “It just gives them a bit more of a break.”