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2006 Grand Rapids Griffins Training Camp
Day 4...
By Jason Kasiorek

Twenty-four players gathered on the ice this morning for a 1 hour skate prior to leaving on the bus for their first pre-season game in Chicago. The coaching staff ran them through several drills and went over the game plan for tonight. Coach Ireland re-emphasized to the players to keep their sticks on the ice, not on the man, because they will get called for a penalty. After the organized practice, several players stayed on the ice to work on skills before hitting the showers.

Darryl Bootland spent time after practice working with a few of the younger guys, most notably rookie blueliner Nello Ferrara. The wily veteran was giving Ferrara some tips on dropping the gloves, and the techniques involved in getting the upper hand. Very interesting to watch the footwork and strategy involved.

As we get closer to the start of the season and the lineup gets more of the actual players in it, we start to see some of the line combinations take shape. This morning saw Matt Ellis, Kip Miller, and Bootland on a line, and they looked to be having fun together. Another line put together had McGrath, and Tardif flanking a couple different centers, with the two talented youngsters feeding off each other around the net.

With the news that Jeff Hamilton probably will stick in Chicago (NHL), and one of the other forwards likely to claim Greg Johnson's spot in Detroit, it may be possible for Tardif to earn a job in Grand Rapids. He has been very impressive around the net so far in camp, and a good exhibition season could earn him a contract.