I chatted with Tips general manager Garry Davidson this morning in advance of training camp. He sounds excited about presiding over his first training camp in charge. We also talked a little about the players who will and won't be attending camp. Here's a quick rundown on who isn't coming:
- As mentioned before, captain Ryan Murray won't be attending. Murray, who was selected second overall in June's NHL draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, is being sent to train in Minneapolis instead. Davidson said Murray was disappointed that he wouldn't be able to attend, as he would have liked to come back for a couple days. However, with the noise regarding an NHL lockout growing louder by the day, it's possible Murray will be coming back eventually. Davidson said if there is a lockout, Murray would probably be back by Sept. 15.
- Both of Everett's overage goaltenders, Kent Simpson and Brandon Anderson, are out. Both Simpson (Chicago) and Anderson (Washington) have signed contracts with their NHL teams, and as overagers they're eligible to play professionally in the minors, so they're headed straight to their pro camps. AHL training camps don't open until the end of September, so if there's any matriculation back to juniors, it won't happen until then.
- Winger Jujhar Khaira has decided to attend Michigan Tech. The Tips acquired the rights to Khaira, a third-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers in this year's NHL draft, from Prince George during the bantam draft. The Tips were hopeful they could recruit the power forward to the WHL, but Khaira has maintained his commitment to Michigan Tech.
- Three of Everett's U.S.-based picks from this year's bantam draft are not attending. Daniel Woolfenden (seventh round), the local defenseman from Mill Creek, has already departed for his prep school in Indiana. Forwards Austin Mathews (third round) and Alec Mehr (12th round) have already committed to teams for this season. However, Davidson said both Mathews and Mehr have expressed interest in possibly joining the Tips organization down the road.
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