Ladies and gentlemen, hockey is back!
The Gulls opened training camp on Monday up in Orange County, where they’ll play all their home games to be close to their parent club the Anaheim Ducks. It’s similar to what Major League Baseball did during the 2020 season when they set up alternate training sites as close as possible to have players ready to go in case of an issue with positive COVID-19 tests.
The Gulls had one of the highest-scoring clubs in the American Hockey League when everything shut down a year ago and while head coach Kevin Dineen preaches a tough defensive mentality, he knows San Diego should put plenty of pucks in the net.
“You win championships (with tough defense) and we want to win a Calder Cup so we do harp on it. It’s important for their development as players,” says Dineen. “Offense is the least of my worries. The enthusiasm I have for the offense that we have here, the creative players, the players with the ability score goals and push our offense, it’s a very exciting time.”
The schedule is still being worked out but the Gulls expect to be playing real games again on February 5th in Irvine. There is still an outside chance that, if the pandemic is able to be dramatically controlled, the Gulls could move games back to Pechanga Arena San Diego and play in front of America’s Finest Fans this season.