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BOEDKER GETTING HEAD START ON CAMP

Wednesday, 08.20.2008 / 8:25 PM / The Desert Dog Blog - by Dave Vest
By Dave Vest
Information, observations and anecdotes about the Coyotes
as told by Dave Vest, the team's V.P. of News Content

I glanced at the calendar this morning and smiled.

And no, I didn’t smile because I realized it was payday, which it is. I smiled because I realized the start of training camp is less than a month away now.

That’s right. August, aka the worst month of the year for hockey fans, slowly but surely is winding down.

And trust me, I’m not the only one around here ready for September to arrive.

Mikkel Boedker, whom the Coyotes snatched with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, also is counting the days until his first NHL training camp starts.

The 18-year-old Danish forward has been skating with other Coyotes/NHL players at the Alltel Ice Den in Scottsdale the past few weeks trying to develop camaraderie with players he hopes to be playing with and against come mid-October. He also is checking out how his skills compare to the proven NHL players.

I asked Boedker what it felt like to be one of the new kids on the block and to skate with the NHL players in the informal setting at the Ice Den.

His response:


Although nothing is written in permanent ink on the depth chart, the consensus around the water cooler is Boedker has an outstanding chance to earn a roster spot in training camp.


A second glance at the calendar revealed that it has been more than a month since center Martin Hanzal underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Last time I spoke to him a few weeks ago, Hanzal was just getting back up on his feet. So, I called him again today seeking an update on his progress, and he told me he was feeling much better and that he has started doing daily, two-hour workouts here in the Valley that include cardio, upper body and abdominal exercises.

Hanzal said he plans to meet with his back surgeon again on Sept. 3 in Los Angeles and hopes to start skating after that visit.

I asked him if he thought he’d be ready to go when the Coyotes open the regular season on Oct. 11 against Columbus.

“I’m doing everything I can to get ready and I think I can make it,” he said. “That game is almost two months away.”


I have received several e-mails from readers regarding prospect Chris Summers.

Many of you want to know why he was switched from defenseman to forward at the Coyotes prospects camp in June.

I’m told the switch was not a permanent one, and that Summers will again play defense at the University of Michigan in 2008-09, his third season with the Wolverines.

The Coyotes, however, still are mulling where they’ll ask him to play once he turns pro because he is an exceptional skater who has played forward in the past.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes should be announcing another one-year affiliation with the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League by the end of this week. The Sundogs, who are based in Prescott Valley, won the CHL title last season.

Thanks for reading.

Dave
thedesertdogblog@phoenixcoyotes.com
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