CHRISTIAN LAUGHLAND, Dauphin’s Kingdom

It was a short summer but I don’t think many will complain that hockey is set to return in the Parkland and Dauphin area as the Kings get ready to drop the puck on a new season.DK_DauphinRink_600

Camp for the Kings gets going on Thursday at 1 p.m., when players check in at Credit Union Place. The opening day will be mostly fitness testing while Friday and Saturday will be spent on ice and Sunday will see the annual JoFo Cup (Kings intrasquad game) take place at 7 p.m. at Credit Union Place.

Note: Get used to that 7 p.m. start time — all Kings games at Credit Union Place get going at 7 p.m. this year. That’s a change from last year, when 7:30 p.m. was the puck drop almost every night.

This camp will see the Kings bring in about 60 players to try and crack the lineup, or at least get a taste of what playing for Dauphin one day down the road may be like.

Local ties

When it comes to locals trying out for Dauphin, the Kings have a couple. Both goalie Connor Shaw and defenceman Taran Lacquette are signed with the team already. The Kings will also have a lot of local players at their camp that aren’t signed just yet. Maybe by the end of the weekend they will be. However, considering the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League’s Parkland Rangers are hosting Telus Cup Regionals this year, I don’t know how many local players will be on the Kings because of the draw of an event like that. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’ll be at the camp all weekend, so no need to worry about waiting for an end of camp recap later next week or at the end of the weekend. I’ll have details on the camp day by day and game by game. Just follow me here or on Twitter (@ChristianCKDM). You can expect free pictures, videos and interviews from the rink. So stay tuned.

Here’s the first of many free interviews to start the year. It’s Kings head coach and general manager Marlin Murray speaking about camp, players coming, the schedule and more. He even took some time to have a little rip on my golf game, but we start with the fact that it’s exciting camp is here …

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