Rocco Carzo did not need an alarm clock Monday morning.
The Kansas City Mavericks forward, who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, was up way before his 6 a.m. wake-up call.
“Are you kidding?” a grinning Carzo said after a lengthy and spirited opening practice session Monday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. “Need an alarm clock this morning? No way! I’ve been dreaming of this day for months – I was up a couple of hours before the alarm went off.
“I thought about getting here about 6 a.m., but I don’t have a key to the place, so I waited until everyone showed up.”
Following the longer than anticipated first practice, Carzo and his teammates hit the weights, did some stretching then ran a series of gassers down the arena’s hallways.
“Feels good, feels so good,” Carzo said when asked about his knee. “Honestly, I don’t even think about it. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s practice and our scrimmage Wednesday night.”
The team’s annual 6:15 p.m. scrimmage will be free, although the Mavericks are asking fans to bring canned goods that will be donated to the Community Services League.
“A great first practice today – spirited,” coach John-Scott Dickson said as he left the ice. “We have some great players in camp – some veterans, some young kids. It’s great to have Rocco back.
“And we’re going to have to make some tough decisions. We have a lot of talent in camp. We have some guys who are not going to make our roster, and they are going to catch on with other teams. “I’ve been (saying) all along, this team looks great on paper. I think we’ve built a solid team. And after today, they look pretty good on the ice, too.”
After the practice, Dickson learned that reigning team MVP Mark Cooper will rejoin the team Wednesday following his practice stint with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears.
“Yeah, getting your MVP back is nice,” Dickson said, grinning. “Just another great piece to our puzzle. We’re going to get a few more guys in camp and I’m expecting a very competitive scrimmage Wednesday.
“I think the fans who come out are going to see something special. We’re all excited.”