The Wheeling Nailers are about to wrap up training camp, but this is one camp that has been different than any of the other 20 camps in Wheeling hockey history.
With the NHL lockout, the Nailers have a much larger group at camp this year, as players from the American Hockey League have filtered down.
Before Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline, head coach Clark Donatelli has to submit his 22-man roster, with the season set to start on Saturday night in Cincinnati.
Donatelli needs to trim from 34 players to 22, meaning some familiar faces will have to go.
And since Wheeling is one of only a handful of ECHL franchises with a dual affiliation, more AHL-caliber players will be sent here.
The players understand the competition to make a roster spot is much tougher.
"It's a tough situation to be in," said Donatelli. "But we're going to have a real good team this season for as long as the lockout lasts."
Seven new players were sent to Wheeling today, with more on the way from Hamilton. The players include goaltender Patrick Killeen, defenseman Reid McNeill, and forwards Cody Chupp, Tom Kuhnhackl, Adam Payerl, Dominik Uher, and Scott Zurevinski.
The Nailers start the season with four straight road games. The home-opener is October 26 at WesBanco Arena against Reading.