2023 Free Agent Camp Recap Vol. 1

by Rob Lippolis

BENSENVILLE, IL - The first two sessions of the 2023 Free Agent Camp have wrapped at the Edge Ice Arena, just outside of Chicago.  Friday night, 25 players began the process of trying to earn a invite to the Black Bears training camp in the beginning of October.  

As the players signed in, they were assigned a team and locker room for the weekend, and at 6PM local time the hopefuls hit the ice.  The Friday night game was simply used as a warm-up to the weekend, shaking out the travel legs, adjusting to a new ice-surface, which most have never played on before.  

Players flew in from all-across North America, some as far as Los Angeles, Naples, and Manitoba; and as close as Chicago. Colan Fitzgerald and Tyson Kirkby served as respective coaches for the Green and Red teams, providing helpful tips and insights to boost players chances on cracking the 19-man roster.  

At the conclusion of the night, Coach Sherwood addressed the two teams, plus the goalies, and set the stage for what would a practice-style session on Saturday morning.

The next day, the hopefuls were introduced to what a typical Black Bears practice entails.  Both teams ran drills with a big emphasis on passing and receiving, changing direction, and of course...finishing.  The session wrapped with the one of the player's favorite drill from last season, Juice Boy, an elimination-style shootout contest, disguised as a drill, that allows the hopefuls to display some of their creativity.

The free agents will return to the arena tonight, for the second of three games scheduled for the weekend.  

The Black Bears are gearing up for their third year as members of the FPHL, 2023-24 Season Tickets are on sale now! Call the Black Bears office at 607-722-7367 or stop into the third-floor hockey offices of Visions Veterans Memorial Arena. Save up to 30% on tickets and receive up to $200 in benefits!

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.binghamtonblackbears.com, or visiting the front office on the third floor of the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena. Follow the Black Bears all year long on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok @BlackBearsFPHL.