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Lethbridge Hurricanes hope to change their fortune at training camp

WATCH ABOVE: A new training camp presents a new optimism for the Lethbridge Hurricanes after six long seasons of missing the playoffs. Paul Kingsmith reports.

LETHBRIDGE – The opening day of Lethbridge Hurricanes training camp marks 2,331 days since the last playoff game in team history.

That’s six seasons without a post-season. To put it in perspective:

  • Kids that weren’t even born on that day are now entering kindergarten
  • Grade 6 students at that time have now graduated high school
  • The youngest Hurricane in that final game (Brody Sutter) is entering his fourth season of pro hockey
  • The last player to score a playoff goal for the Hurricanes (Colton Sceviour) has now played 196 more games as a pro than he did as a junior

In short, there hasn’t been much to cheer for in recent years for fans of the Hurricanes.

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But, as a new training camp opens, a cautious optimism reigns.

Peter Anholt, one of the winningest coaches in WHL history, begins his first full season as Hurricanes general manager. He hired long-time Calgary Hitmen assistant Brent Kisio as his head coach, and completed a roster overhaul which leaves the ‘Canes with only three players (Tyler Wong, Giorgio Estephan and Carter Amson) who have played at least two seasons with the team.

They are moves Anholt believes will change the club’s fortune.

“It’s a domino effect that ultimately starts with our staff creating an environment for the kids to succeed,” said Anholt.

The Hurricanes are kicking off training camp with a four-day session strictly for rookies. Headlining the camp are back-to-back second overall WHL bantam picks Jordy Bellerive and Calen Addison. Anholt wants to see how the young players compare to each other instead of pitting them against veteran competition at the main camp.

“You get to rate your 15- and 16-year-olds versus your top guys – the Bellerives, the Addisons,” said Anholt. “And you can kind of use them as your measuring stick in a real structured situation.”

The work will all be done under the watchful eye of first year coach Brent Kisio who will spend training camp getting familiar with the players he will lead this season.

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“We’ve talked a lot about what we have and where some guys are at, but you still want to see it with your own eyes,” said Kisio. “So, this week is going to be a little bit of a learning curve for myself with this organization.”

WATCH: Lethbridge Hurricanes draft pick Calen Addison hit the WHL ice for the first time since being selected second overall in the 2015 bantam draft. Global’s Matt Battochio reports.

Both Kisio and Anholt hope training camp is just the start of a brighter future for the team, which hopes to make it back to the playoffs as soon as possible.

“We’re guarded about it and we’re a little careful to over-promise, but we certainly sense with our players that there’s no dark clouds hanging over,” said Anholt.

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Hurricanes Rookie Camp Schedule

August 26
5:30 p.m. – Team A practice
6:45 p.m. – Team B practice
8 p.m. – Goalie session

August 27
9 a.m. – Team A vs. Team B
10:30 a.m. – Veterans skill session
3 p.m. – Team A vs. Team B

August 28
9 a.m. – Team A vs. Team B
10:30 a.m. – Veterans skill session
3 p.m. – Team A vs. Team B

August 29
9 p.m. – Team A vs. Team B

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