Carbery prepares for his second season

Photo courtesy: South Carolina Stingrays

By John

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- In a small quiet office at the bottom of the North Charleston Coliseum, Stingray's Head Coach Spencer Carbery sits alone trying to piece together this year's roster.

With the start of training camp fast approaching, Carbery is playing the numbers game. A situation brought about by an affiliation change from Washington to Boston, and the retirement of three of his veteran players.

"One of the main differences from the way things were done with Washington will be the number of players who will be assigned to South Carolina," said the second-year head coach. "With Washington you could expect 8, 9, or 10 players, with Boston that number will be cut in half, so it's on us to go out and find ECHL free agents."

That task became even more of a challenge when Matt Scherer, Pierre-Luc O'Brien, and Johann Kroll all announced their retirements within a month of one another. Scherer and O'Brien made the announcement on the same day.

"It's unfortunate the timing of it all. These were leader-type guys who have been here a long time, "says Carbery. "They were three quality people, and human beings. Now it is my job to find the next Matt Scherer, the next Pierre-Luc O'Brien, the next Johan Kroll. Normally it doesn't all happen in one off-season but we will adapt."

Carbery will have to adapt as well. Instead of dealing with the trickle down effect of player moves in Washington and Hershey,{}he will now{}keep a keen eye on Boston and Providence.

"Anytime you change affiliation there are small changes, but nothing major," says the confident Carbery. "Our main focus is to make these guys better players, work with them, develop them down here. Hopefully they can help our team while they're in town, and eventually move them onto Providence and then Boston."

Carbery is also focused on getting better as a head coach. Last year, his Stingrays were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Kalamazoo.

"I learned a lot about myself last season, how to deal with certain situations. One of the positives I took from last year was dealing with adversity. This year I'll be better equipped to deal with those situations. As far as the structure of how to play the game, you always pick up new stuff over the summer on the things you want to change."

And change has taken place off the ice for Carbery as well, his wife Casey gave birth to a son, named Hudson,{} just a week after the playoffs ended in April.

"The baby helps me keep things in perspective," says the proud dad. "Leave work at work, turn the hockey mind off, and take care of the family. Forget the other stuff."

But there is no forgetting that the start of a new season is almost here, and while Carbery sits alone in a small office in the bottom of the North Charleston Coliseum,{} that's about to change. "I'm stuck in my cave for now, but not for long," he says.

The Stingrays will open the season at home on October 13th against Gwinnett.


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