After 17 months, the Soo Greyhounds are just days away from returning to the ice.
The Ontario Hockey League club is set to open training camp on Monday at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
Camp will look very different than in past years with the team announcing on Thursday that scrimmages will be closed to the public this season.
“This was a difficult decision for us to make,” Greyhounds president Tim Lukenda said in a prepared statement. “We know many of our fans love coming and watching training camp, but unfortunately we are just not ready to welcome them into the GFL Memorial Gardens at this time. The health and safety of our fans, players, and staff is paramount.”
Lukenda added that the team is working with the City on a procedure to have fans in the building for the annual Red/White game on Sept. 3.
The Greyhounds are also scheduled to host the Sudbury Wolves in an exhibition game at the GFL on Sept. 5.
By the numbers
The Greyhounds will enter training camp with 55 players, including 14 veterans.
The team has six overage candidates (2001 birth years) – defencemen Billy Constantinou and Robert Calisti, and forwards, Tye Kartye, Alex Johnston, Joe Carroll, and Cole MacKay.
Earlier this summer, the team announced that three potential overage candidates – goaltender Ethan Taylor, defenceman Drew Wawrow, and forward Cullen McLean – had been placed on waivers.
Of the 55 players expected in camp, four are free agent invites.
From the past two draft classes, 12 players from the 2020 draft and 13 from the 2021 draft will be in camp.
In addition to the veterans, the team has eight prospects signed ahead of camp, including 2021 first rounder Justin Cloutier, 2020 top pick Bryce McConnell-Barker, and import pick Kirill Kudryavtsev.
Also signed by the club ahead of camp are defencemen Connor Toms and Luc Brzustowski as well as forwards Tyler Savard, Jordan D’Intino, and Marco Mignosa.
Kudryavtsev will not be in camp because of COVID restrictions on people from overseas traveling into Canada.