Ivan Hapgood liked what he saw.
The Caribous' head coach says he was impressed with the talent that hit the ice for the first time over the weekend at a training camp in St. John's.
"Our camp on the weekend went really well. We had a large turnout with 25 guys on the ice," says Hapgood. "There were a lot of very talented hockey players out there."
Recruitment for the season has been nothing short of tremendous, noted Hapgood.
While it's great to have talent, he says it will be up to him and the rest of the coaching staff to ensure they become a team.
"We've made some changes. Our general manager Derek (MacPhee) went out and did some real good recruiting in the off-season. There is no question the guys will have to adjust to different roles than what they have been used to in the past," says Hapgood.
"This year we had our eyes on five or six players and we got what we were looking for. It doesn't always happen that way, but it worked out for us this time around."
For the past several weeks MacPhee was in player recruitment mode. He was successful in signing some pretty good talent.
The first to sign in the off-season was import player Chris Hulit, a player with a proven hockey record. Next came Matthew Bragg a centreman with a lot of talent. Another high quality hockey player to sign with the Caribous was Shea Heights native Steve Yetman.
One of the major acquisitions for the herd came when power forward Andrew Sweetland signed a card with the Caribous. Sweetland spent last season with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL.
The final piece of the puzzle for the 2011-2012 campaign was Ryan Desrosiers. The Nova Scotia native played last season with the Deer Lake Red Wings of the West Coast Senior Hockey League where he provided plenty of scoring for his team, especially in the playoffs.
The league also has a new set up this season. Earlier in the summer the Caribous, along with the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars, and Mount Pearl Blades, got the green light from Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) to form a new senior hockey league.
That was in July.
Since then Deer Lake pulled out of the West Coast Senior Hockey League leaving defending Herder champs the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Corner Brook Royals.
At the fall meeting of HNL the league was once again revamped to include both west coast teams.
There are still a few items to be ironed out with the league.
However, Hapgood says everything should be in place in the coming days.
The schedule has the Caribous playing their first game of the season against the CeeBees in Harbour Grace on Saturday, Oct. 29.
They will play their home opener at the Clarenville Events Centre on Sunday, Oct. 30.