For the second time in less than a month, the Portland Pirates have been forced to cancel a “potential” preseason game this season.
The Pirates announced today that they’ve canceled their only home preseason game, which was to be held at Portland Ice Arena on Saturday, against the Manchester Monarchs.
The reason is due to a lack of players who will be in Portland in time for the game as the Buffalo Sabres, Portland’s NHL parent club, is taking extended looks at several players in camp.
“Due to the Sabres’ decision to extend the stay of many prospects and veterans further into training camp and participate in the NHL exhibition schedule, the Pirates’ training camp has been reduced in duration,” said Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek in a statement. “As a result, we will not have the necessary number of players here in Portland this weekend to conduct an exhibition game at the Portland Ice Arena as previously planned.”
Earlier this month, although it wasn’t officially announced by the Pirates, they were forced to cancel their contest at PIA against the University of New Brunswick, also because of a lack of players in training camp.
Training camp for the Pirates isn’t expect to open until this weekend with the lone preseason game, taking place on Tuesday Oct. 5 against the Monarchs at Conway Arena in Nashua, NH.
Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen doesn’t view this to be problematic with Pirates camp as they are the last camp to open in the American Hockey League.
“Last year with the Olympics playing out during the middle of the NHL season everything was on a quicker timeline,” said Dineen. “We had players here in Portland (sooner), the season started (sooner) at the NHL level, but this year, things are at their normal pace.”
“We’re going to have a week to get our guys on the ice, start working on some line combinations, team systems, and how we want to play as a team.”
The regular season for the Pirates begins on Oct. 9 at home against the Monarchs.