By Brendan McCarthy
The St. John's IceCaps will reveal plans for their 2013 training camp today and it is expected the American Hockey League team will announce it will be spending its preseason closer to home than in its first two years.
In 2011, the IceCaps' training camp was in Gander, with exhibition games in the airport town, Grand Falls-Windsor and at Mile One Stadium in St. John's. In 2012, the team based itself out of Corner Brook, with preseason contests there, in Stephenville and in Clarenville.
In both cases, the IceCaps' opponents were the farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning -- in 2011, the Norfolk Admirals and last year, the Syracuse Crunch. That pairing was established, in large part, because of the relationship between Tampa Bay assistant general manger Julien Brisebois and IceCps' chief operating officer Glenn Stanford, who had once worked together on the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
Although the parent Winnipeg Jets haven't announced their training camp schedule yet, it is known the Jets will play eight exhibition games between Sept. 14 and Sept. 27. In 2011, the IceCaps began their training camp one week after the start of Winnipeg's exhibition schedule. If that pattern holds true this year, St. John's camp would begin around Sept. 21.
Exact details will be known this afternoon, with the announcement coming 2 p.m. at the Mary Brown's restaurant on Freshwater Road in St. John's. The fried chicken purveyors have been sponsors of the Mary Brown's Cup, awarded to the winner of the exhibition series held in the province the two previous years.