From NHL hopefuls to stalwarts, dozens of players with the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Halifax area Friday and through the weekend as the team launches this season's on-ice training camp at Bedford's BMO Centre.
And based on last season's performance that landed the team near the basement in NHL standings, they could use a bit of training.
The Leafs spent the off season revamping scouting operations and coaching, and hired the much sought-after Mike Babcock as head coach. The team has invited 73 players to training camp, including 42 forwards, 24 defencemen and seven goaltenders.
Local NHL fans can size up this year's team and watch the Leafs at the BMO Centre, but tickets are limited to just 400 a day.
4 things you need to know
- When is it? It runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- What time do ticket go on sale? Tickets go on sale at 8:30 a.m. each day at the BMO Centre and are being sold on a first come, first serve basis.
- How many tickets can I buy? Tickets can only be bought that morning for the day's session and tickets are limited to just two per person.
- How much are tickets? Tickets cost a minimum of $5 apiece, cash only. All proceeds go to KidSport Nova Scotia, a charity that helps children overcome financial barriers so they can participate in organized sport.
The Maple Leafs will open the preseason with a pair of split-squad games against the Ottawa Senators on Sept 21.
Last year, the Leafs won just 30 games, and the team axed general manager Dave Nonis and the entire coaching staff at the end of what forward Joffrey Lupul called a "wasted season." The scouting department was also gutted.
Team president Brendan Shanahan said last season he would focus on pruning the playing roster, continuing an aggressive makeover.