Brad Treliving wasn’t overly satisfied with what he saw in his first development camp as general manager of the Calgary Flames a year ago.
He was much happier the second time around.
“I thought it was real good. I think the goal coming in is it’s a lot of education,” Treliving said at the conclusion of camp Friday. “To me, it’s educating them mainly on the fitness component, nutrition, those types of things, and you get a check in on the guys that have been here before of where they’re at and tweaking whatever we need to tweak for the rest of summer.
“All in all I thought it was a good week.”
Fitness testing Monday gave way to on-ice sessions, divided into four groups, from Tuesday to Friday.
The sessions represent one fewer day on the ice compared to last year.
“To me, this is what a development camp is about. It’s development,” Treliving said. “We spent a lot of time. The on-ice portion is dedicated to skill development. What are the areas we can help? What are the areas we do well? What are the areas we don’t do well? And how can we figure those out and put a plan in place to improve those?
“Spending a lot of the time off ice, in terms of the education piece, what we try to communicate to these guys is we feel we’re the fittest organization and team in the league and we want to maintain that. It all starts with that. To be a pro, it’s the lifestyle you lead, the way you train, the way you take care of yourself and it’s 365 days a year. That’s what we put a lot of the energy into making sure they understand that and giving them the tools the rest of the summer so they’re prepared, whatever camp they go to, to have success.”
It wasn’t all about stickhandling and strength programs.
With some behind-the-scenes activities, including a trip to the Calgary Stampede and another up Sulphur Mountain in Banff, more development took place.
“Part of this is education but the goal here is a lot of these guys, hopefully down the road, are going to be teammates,” Treliving said. “You’re building that connection. You’re not trying to turn this into a boot camp, but everything has got a purpose. They made not realize it, but there’s a goal with all the things we try to do here.”
The goal, too, is to get the player to understand areas of needed improvement.
At Friday’s finale, Treliving met with players individually to chat about chartered paths for each prospect.
It’s with the hope that the development portion of development camp is kept in the forefront, and will serve prospects well down the road.
“I think it’s really important to give them feedback of where they’re at and where they need to get to to be part of this, where they need to improve,” Treliving said. “This is four or five days but this is just the start. The reason we do it at the time we do it, they’ve got two, two-and-a-half months to have an impact on whether it be their conditioning, fitness, nutrition, skating, so all those types of things. Meetings are to review the week, give them their plan, and not all the plans are the same. Some people need different things.
“It’s to give them that personal feedback so when they come back in October or they go to wherever it is they’re going, they’re in the best position to have success.”