As the Traverse City Record-Eagle’s James Cook notes, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is a big proponent of the team’s annual decision to hold its training camp in Traverse City:
“It’s been a great tandem — Traverse City and Centre Ice and the Red Wings for a long, long time,” Blashill said. “I think it’s going to be a great tandem for years to come.”
Blashill was asked why the Red Wings continue to come to Traverse City, rather than remaining downstate. The coach was quick to reel off three reasons why Detroit continues to make its second home just south of the 45th parallel.
First, the trip up north provides an important opportunity to bond. This year, that may be more important than ever with so many roster spots up for grabs throughout the upcoming preseason. Second, Blashill admitted the visit plays an important ambassadorial role, giving many without the day-to-day contact their metro counterparts received an up-close-and-personal look. Finally, Centre Ice guarantees two sheets of ice for the duration of camp.
“Our volunteers here are unreal. They take unbelievable pride in doing a great job here,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a thankless job. Sometimes the people in charge can be a pain in the neck because we want everything done perfect. They always take that with a grain of salt and they just keep doing a great job with a smile on their face. It’s impressive.”