If you read my last post updating the Ice Wolves (relatively) known quantities heading in to Training Camp this weekend, you probably noticed a lack of mention about some names expected at Camp.

While Bob Beatty is playing some things close to the chest, he did give me names of a few players that will be new names/faces for fans at training camp and are expected to perform well.

Information isn't exactly abundant on these players, and I'm sure more will come out when we get to the weekend, but it's fun to do some digging around and find out what we can about these guys.

Check out an early look at Scott Helmkay, Brandon Crozier and Pavlo Zerebecky after the break.

I'm back from an all too short vacation which had me in Banff, at a WWE event, a baseball game and a street hockey game in front of my parents house.  All and all, a good 10ish days off.  Now I'm ready to go for the 2011-2012 season and it's time for a monstrous blog post to start off on a good note.  

It's a little different for me this time around.  Last season around this time, I was at Calgary Canucks training camp preparing to enter into a year of volunteering on the media side of things with the team.  When I got the call to come to La Ronge, I hustled, but still arrived just in time for the first game of the Regular Season.  So this is my first go around of an SJHL training camp and Pre-Season.

The first true "Hockey is Just Around the Corner" event is coming up in La Ronge.

The Ice Wolves Northern Prospects Camp runs Friday, August 26th-August 28th at the Mel Heglund Uniplex.

Here's the release from the team:

The La Ronge Ice Wolves will be holding a Northern Prospects Identification Camp for players 15-20 years of age that reside within the five Northern recreational regions; Athabasca, Beaver River, Clearwater, Neyanun and Sagastew. 

The camp will be held August 26th, 27th & 28th .  Contact your local or regional recreation coordinator or the Ice Wolves office for registration forms or more information.  You may contact the Ice Wolves office  by phone at 306-425-4141 or email at icewolves@sasktel.net

So if you know a burgeoning hockey talent from the North, get them to check it out.  A few players from this camp get invites to the Ice Wolves Training Camp the next weekend, so it can be a great opportunity for players looking to take the next step.

From the fans' perspective, this is the weekend when the returning Ice Wolves will be back in town to help out with the Camp.  I would imagine that includes off-season acquisitions that will be on the roster.  Since Bob Beatty has been rather tight-lipped about off season pick ups, this could be a very news-filled time.  Good thing I get back from my pre-season vacation on the Friday.

Speaking of that vacation time, I will be in Calgary starting tomorrow night, but I'm never very far from the action so if I find something out, don't be surprised to see it on the blog, and remember, you can listen to the sports on MBC for updates as they come in.

Hockey season is almost here, start cleaning up your jerseys and dusting off the air horns.

You can almost place a "done deal" label on this season's SJHL Schedule.

The games for the SJHL Showcase in Estevan are set.  Here's the schedule via estevanbruins.com, the Ice Wolves have been highlighted in a beautiful red.

Fri. October 14         11:00               Weyburn vs Laronge

Fri. October 14         2:00                 Notre Dame vs. Melfort

Fri.  October 14        5:00                 Yorkton vs. Battleford

Fri. October 14        7:30                 Estevan vs. Humboldt

Sat. October 15     11:00               Battleford vs Melfort

Sat October 15    2:00                  Laronge vs. Humboldt

Sat. October 15   5:00                   Nipawin vs. Kindersley

Sat. October 15    7:30                 Flin Flon vs. Melville

Sun. October 16      11:00               Nipawin vs. Weyburn

Sun. October 16      2:00                 Estevan vs. Yorkton

Sun. October 16      5:00                 Kindersley vs. Melville

Sun. October 16      7:30                 Flin Flon vs. Notre Dame

If I'm not mistaken, this is the same schedule the Ice Wolves had last year.  It also means the games will likely not be on the air, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Maybe I can commandeer the webcast like I did in the third period of the Wolves first game last year.  

For folks in Estevan, the team's looking for volunteers to help keep the weekend moving smoothly.  If you're interested in helping out, call 634-7730.
Just saw this video up on the Ice Wolves website.  Great camera angle, pretty much on the ice.
What championship celebration would be complete without some flying Gatorade?
That's me leaping out of the way as the guys open fire.  It's tough to keep a straight face doing an interview while watching those guys cruise in from behind with Marc-Andre Carre waving his arms around trying to make sure I keep Bob there.  Also gives me a look at how thin my hair is getting back there... but I digress.

Bob Beatty has been all over the place this off season as a guest coach for some events at a Hockey Canada Coaching event and of course recruiting for the Wolves upcoming season.  He's playing everything pretty close to the chest so we'll have to wait a little longer before learning about the new Ice Wolves joining the team this upcoming season.

For now, enjoy the golf/fishing/camping, or whatever you do during the summer.  Ice Wolves northern prospects camp goes the last weekend of August, then training camp the week after and we're off and running.

Yes at some point I do plan on writing about sports on the sports blog.  However, the flooding in the North is taking centre stage these days.  Here are some more pictures from my latest excursion to the Montreal River crossing and Riverside Motel (just down the road).
After the break, there are a couple of videos I posted to my new Youtube Channel.
Sorry for the wind noise in the video it was... well, windy.

Listen to MBC News @ 4:00 and 5:00 for the latest.