The puck dropped on Alaska Aces training camp about 15 minutes ago, and some of the faces on the ice at Ben Boeke Arena will get the Cowbell Crew excited.
One of NHL center Scott Gomez of Anchorage, who played for the Aces during the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Don't get too excited -- he merely signed a professional tryout agreement (PTO) that allows him to practice with the club. Gomez last week said his earlier Aces stint was a one-time deal.
But also on the ice is Joey Crabb, the NHL right winger from Anchorage. He has signed a one-year deal with the Aces, the club said.
Also on the ice is NHL center Nate Thompson, who likewise signed a PTO. The Blog's gut tells him Thompson is likely to sign an ECHL deal with the Aces.
Gomez usually plays for the Montreal Canadiens, Thompson for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Crabb for the Washington Capitals.
But all three are victims of the NHL lockout, which thus far has canceled the entire NHL exhibition season.
Some other late additions to the training camp roster: defenseman Dustin Molle of Anchorage, forwards Justin Jokinen, Jacques Lamoureux and Philip Ischi, and goaltender Micah Perletti.