By Kris Smith
The Stars have just five days to prepare for their first test in 18 months, as they head straight into a derby double header against their arch-rivals, this weekend.
There are 15 new faces on the 20-man roster this season and after GM and Head Coach, Omar Pacha had put his new charges through their paces, a few of the new arrivals took a minute to share their experiences of their first days in Dundee.
American winger, Charlie Combs made the long trip from St. Louis, Missouri to Scotland and despite the jet lag, the only US-born player in the squad has enjoyed it so far.
He said: “It has been good fun, I am still trying to adjust to the time difference, but I am happy I am here and excited to get things started.
“I like it so far, everyone has been so nice and we have a great group of guys.
Sharing his delight to be back preparing for a new season of hockey, Combs then added: “I got to play last year, which was nice and that kept things feeling normal, but I am really happy to start my pro career over here with the Stars.”
Meanwhile, Scottish forward, Caly Robertson had a relatively short journey to get to Dundee Ice Arena from his home in Kirkcaldy, but he too has enjoyed his start to life as a Star.
Caly said: “It has been good, all the guys have been very welcoming, but it is tough after a long layoff to just get back out onto the ice and go straight into things again, but so far so good.
“All the staff, coaches and players have been great, and I have a great impression of the club so far.”
Canadian defenseman, Kyle Haas then revealed his first impressions of the city and his new club, he said: “My first impressions are that it is a very professional setup here.
“Omar did a very good job recruiting character guys and that was a big emphasis this offseason and that was the first thing I saw with this group.
“All the guys are great and very welcoming, and the fans too!
“We were out eating, when they noticed we were the Stars and introduced themselves and were excited to see us, so it was great to see them so soon.
“So, I am excited to be starting the year off with a big rivalry game against Fife on Friday and hopefully we get two wins.”
Finally, Toms Rutkis joins the Stars with plenty of EIHL experience and a playoff championship to his name, but the Latvian-born forward has been pleased with how things have begun for him in the city of Discovery.
Toms said: “It has been a great couple of days, and it was good to be on the ice for the first time officially with the team.
“Our first session was fast-paced, and it seems like we have a great group of guys who are fitting in well together.”
He continued: “I have been to the city a couple of times now and it seems really nice, then the rink is a nice place as well, the ice is great, and it seems like a really well taken care of facility.
“So, it is great to be back, and I cannot wait for the first game on Friday.”
Day one of the Stars preseason training camp is in the books and a few of our new faces have been shared but look out for another piece tomorrow as we catch up with more of the team after Day two.
Tickets for Friday’s Tayside Derby are selling fast but you can still get yours HERE.