Bridgeport Sound Tigers Training Camp Notebook
By Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey)
SYOSSET, NY—The Bridgeport Sound Tigers had their first official practice Saturday at Islanders Ice Works.
It was an uneventful day as players got readjusted to being back on the ice and new Sound Tigers coach Scott Pellerin got his first taste of being an AHL head coach. The practice was open to the public and upwards of 50 people showed up (that is a rough estimate and not an official count). Also in attendance was Islander GM Garth Snow, head coach Jack Capuano and assistant coach Doug Weight.
Not to mention a small contingent of media looking to speak with Travis Hamonic and Nino Niederreiter, who would be at the Islanders training camp if it were not for the current lockout.
New Coach on the Block
Scott Pellerin got his first day as the new bench boss for the Sound Tigers out of the way. He was named to the position after the Islanders promoted Brett Thompson to an assistant coach on the Isles staff this past summer.
Speaking about his first “real” practice Pellerin said: “I thought the effort was really good and my staff, I thought we were well prepared and I thought we got out of it what we wanted to.”
‘El Nino’ Looking to be a Leader
Travis Hamonic is not the only NHLer starting the year in the minors. Nino Niederreiter is also starting the year in Bridgeport and looking to make the most of it.
“In the end it’s a training camp,” he said after Saturday’s practice. “I was preparing myself for an NHL camp, but now I’m excited for another chance to play in the AHL, play a different role and I’m just very excited about it.”
Niederreiter appeared in six games for the Sound Tigers last season and put up three goals and an assist for four points. During his time in Bridgeport this year he hopes he can have an impact and be a leader for the younger players.
“I want to be a leader on this team,” He said. “I want to be one of those players who can be an example for other guys.”
Kabanov, Nelson, Niederreiter Line
Intreging to think about is the line combo of Nino Niederreiter, Brock Nelson and Kirill Kabanov. Could it potentially be the Sound Tigers first or second line this season? Possibly, but that is pure speculation.
As mentioned before, Niederreiter did have a successful stint with Bridgeport last season. Kabanov is a player that has always had very good raw talent in the puck-handling department and Brock Nelson looked comfortable last season playing against the Connecticut Whale during the Sound Tigers short run in the playoffs.
Kabanov had also played with Niederreiter during the Isles Prospect camp in June. “Nino is a great player and… I understand him better now and hopefully we will find our game.”