Topeka RoadRunners defenseman Chris Bond was invited to participate in the Washington Capitals Summer Camp. Each day, Chris checked in with updates, keeping an online chronicle of the events for the RoadRunner Nation to share. Each days report is available here, so we hope you enjoy "Bondo's Blog"!
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 7 (JULY 17)
Today was our final day at the Washington Capitals Development Camp. We ended the camp with a scrimmage in front of a couple thousand Caps’ fans. In conjunction with the scrimmage, the Caps were holding their annual Fan Fest and Equipment Sale. It was a “Sea of Red” from the moment we walked in the doors. It is exciting to see the growth of hockey and the Capitals in the Washington area. The scrimmage again ended in a 2-2 tie and was won in a shootout by Group “B.” It was another intense, fast-paced game with a lot of extra emotion because of the crowd. I thought I played pretty well again. I was even able to get on the score sheet today with an assist off a shot from the point. It was a nice way to bring closure to this amazing week.
After getting off the ice, all the players were addressed by Caps’ GM George McPhee and Head Coach Bruce Boudreau. They thanked us for all our hard work and effort and they hope to see all of us in the future. Everyone from coaches to the scouts to the equipment staff were absolutely unbelievable. They were very approachable and willing to do anything to make sure we had a good time here, and to make sure we learned a lot along the way. I have nothing but good things to say about the Washington Capitals organization and about how this camp was run professionally.
With this being my last blog, I would like to thank everyone who checked in and followed me throughout the week. This camp was a wonderful learning experience. I can take many great things away from it to work on, so that someday I can hopefully make it to college hockey and maybe even the NHL. I am excited to continue training and getting prepared for the upcoming season and the Topeka Roadrunners shot at the Robertson Cup. Thanks again.
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 6 (JULY 16)
Today was our last full day at the Capitals Development Camp. We started the morning with an ice session. Today’s practice was focused on power play, penalty kill, and face-offs. We got to learn exactly what makes the Capitals’ power play one of the most lethal in the NHL. At the end of the skate, Group "A" was divided into 2 teams and we played a 10 puck-shootout game. It was a nice way to end our last practice of the week, and I know all the guys had fun with it.
Following the ice session, we headed to the track for an off-ice workout. We worked on different plyometric exercises for our explosiveness and we also performed 20-yard sprints with a weighted sled. It was an extremely hot and humid day so we did not spend too much time outside.
After getting back from the track, each player had individual meetings with different members of the Caps Coaching and Scouting staffs. It was good to get feed back from the Capitals’ staff on how you did and what you need to continue to work on to make it to the professional level.
In the afternoon, all the prospects loaded a bus and headed downtown for a tour of the US Capitol. For many of the guys, it is there first time to Washington D.C and it was very cool to see their reaction to Capital Hill. Even though I have been to the US Capitol before, I definitely feel that you learn something new every time you go there. Our tour lasted about an hour and then we returned to the hotel, and everyone fanned out for dinner.
The rest of the night we have off. Since it’s the last night here, the guys will probably just hang out together and then get some good "shut eye" before our final scrimmage tomorrow morning! One more final blog on Saturday…
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 5 (JULY 15)
The fifth day of the Capitals Development Camp is complete. We started off bright and early this morning with a scrimmage at 9 AM. It was another fast-paced and intense game with lots of hits and nice plays. The scrimmage again ended in a tie, this time the score was 5-5. We went to a shoot-out and it was quickly decided for Group “B” 6-5. I thought I played pretty well and I tried to pick up the physical aspect of my game a little more than yesterday.
Following the scrimmage we headed back to the hotel to grab some sandwiches and fruit for lunch. All the prospects then loaded onto a bus and headed out for a team building event. Our team building activity was paintball wars. The players were divided into USA vs. the World. The World team was joined by Capitals’ forward Brooks Laich. It was nice to see him come out and get to know all the Caps prospects. We spent about 2 hours at the paintball course and played 6 games. It was extremely hot and humid, and all of us came away with a few welts and bruises, not unlike a hockey game. Overall I think everyone had a ton of fun and it was a nice change of pace.
Tomorrow morning we have another practice session and off-ice workout. Then in the afternoon we will head downtown to get a tour of our Nation’s Capital. Now its time for me to hydrate, get some rest and get ready for tomorrow. Until then.
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 4 (JULY 14)
Day four of the Caps Development Camp is in the books. Group “A” started off the morning with on-ice testing. These drills are used to evaluate our quickness, explosiveness and overall skating ability. We did a start/stop test, an acceleration test, a sprint from stand still, and a test that involved going around the face-off circles in a “Figure 8.” The Caps gave us the info on these tests before the camp, so I was able to work on them the past couple weeks with my skating coach which I feel was a big help.
After the on-ice testing, we had about 3 hours to get some lunch and rest before the first scrimmage. Several of us went to “Noodles and Company” to grab the normal pre-game pasta and chicken. We then head back to the hotel to catch about a 45 minute nap before heading back to the rink.
The scrimmage this afternoon was our first opportunity to show the Capitals Coaching Staff what we can do in a game situation. You could sense the intensity building up before the game in the locker room. We played against Group “B” and the first 2 periods were 20 minutes running time, and the 3rdperiod was 20 minutes stop time. The game ended in a 4-4 tie. I thought that I performed pretty well. I was able to play physical, block a few shots and got a couple solid hits in. I even had a few chances to jump up in the rush and get off a few shots on offensive opportunities. It was great to be able to play with the guys that we have been competing against the last couple of days. It is amazing to see how fast the chemistry can build between players.
After the scrimmage everyone returned to the hotel for a team meal of salmon, chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. Most of the guys will probably spend the rest of the night relaxing and watching T.V. We have an early scrimmage tomorrow and it is another opportunity for us to impress the Capitals Coaches.
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 3 (JULY 13)
It was another great day at the Washington Capitals Development Camp. Group “A” had our off-ice workout first today. This session was focused on the upper body and once again was led by the Caps Strength and Conditioning coaches. Right after our off-ice workout was over, we had about 15 minutes to get dressed before our on-ice session began. The on-ice practice was run by the Caps Assistant Coaches as Coach Boudreau was in the stands evaluating players. We worked on defensive zone coverage, neutral zone fore-checking and a controlled breakout. It’s pretty interesting to practice the systems of the Caps and get to learn how they do things on the ice.
Another aspect of this camp that has been really cool is getting to play with guys from all over the world. There are players from Sweden, Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany and many other countries. I have never had an opportunity to play with players (other than with Lipsbergs) from so many other European countries. Having the chance to skate with them, share meals with them and getting to know them is a lot of fun.
We have the rest of the night off and I am looking forward to some down time. Tomorrow we have on-ice testing in the morning and in the afternoon we have our first scrimmage of the week. It is exciting to get to play in a game situation and to see how I stack up against the rest of the prospects. Talk to you again tomorrow.
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 2 (JULY 12)
Today was the second day of the Washington Caps Developmental Camp. Group “A” had our ice session this morning starting at 9:30. Caps Head Coach Bruce Boudreau was on the ice and ran the practice along with all of his assistants. The practice was focused on breakouts and fore-checking. We also did some 1-on-1s, 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s. The practice was very fast paced and the players at this level are extremely skilled with the puck. At the end of practice, we had a hard skate that really had the legs burning. Overall I thought I did pretty well in all the drills. My goal is to improve every day and I am working hard to do that.
After lunch we had our off-ice workout run by the Caps strength and conditioning coach. Today was focused on our legs and core. We did numerous exercises involving different forms of squats and core exercises. Tomorrow our lift will be in the morning and it will be more focused on upper body.
Following the off-ice workout a couple of the Caps high draft picks and minor league prospects were getting interviewed by some of the local news stations. Little did I know that they would actually want to interview me. ABC7, one of the local news outlets here, called over and asked me to do an interview with them. They asked me about what it was like to grow up in the D.C. area and have the opportunity to wear a Washington Capitals jersey for a week. It was a pretty cool experience as I have never done a T.V. interview in my home town before.
We have the rest of the night off and I am looking forward to getting some much needed sleep. Our skate is in the afternoon tomorrow and I am excited about getting back on the ice and learning and competing more.
BONDO'S BLOG - DAY 1 (JULY 11)