In the weeks following the NHL Draft teams bring in their newest draftees and other top prospects for a week of camp to get to know one another as well as the coaching staff of their team. The week of camp ends with a scrimmage typically open to the public, but not before the prospects spend the start of the week with plenty of on- and off-ice training.
At 5 a.m. on Monday, the Sabres prospects took a trip to the beach, but it wasn't for any sort of enjoyment or relaxation time. They had a date with the U.S. Navy SEALs. From WGRZ:
The hockey part — the skating, the passing, the drills — that was all a given. The extreme military workout was not expected.
"I don't know if two weeks ago I could have told you I was going to be jumping into a lake at 5 in the morning," Tropp said. "It was a good time though. Well, maybe good times is an overstatement."
They even had to make their beds before they could leave for the beach. "I haven't done that in a while," said second-year left winger Marcus Foligno.
And this has what to do with hockey?
A lot, the players say. The benefits go well beyond whatever demands are placed on their musculoskeletal systems, too. The greatest asset will be between the ears.
For the Stars prospects, with their camp run by former NHL tough guy Brent Severyn, they were introduced to the world of mixed martial arts:
MMA and hockey aren't strangers to one another. Former Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Riley Cote used to do MMA training in the off-season to help his fighting on the ice. Georges Laraque once grappled UFC legend Georges St-Pierre during an Off the Record broadcast on TSN. Then there was Donald Brashear's 21-second MMA debut last year.
What kind of discipline would be doled out by Brendan Shanahan for using an arm bar or choke hold during a post-whistle scrum?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy