The Hershey Bears open their 2019-2020 campaign against rivals Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins Saturday night at Giant Center. This year marks the Bears 82nd season, with the goal of winning their 12th Calder Cup in team history.
Puck drop is set for 7PM, but before that, opening night events will be hosted outside Giant Center. At 5pm, the Bears will host their annual red-carpet event. Fans will be able to see players arrive at the arena as well as have a chance for a photo and autograph. Along with the red-carpet event, there will be a promotional giveaway for all fans in attendance. All fans will receive a season schedule magnet upon entry. The Bears are coming off a pretty eventful off-season. Head Coach Spencer Carbery will be entering his second season with the Bears. In an interview during Bears media day, Carbery said he feels much more comfortable. A few additions to the coaching staff will give Coach Carbery the help he needs to push the Bears this year. With Coach Carbery feeling more acquainted in Hershey, the chemistry and expectations between the staff and players is surely to have a positive impact heading into the year.
Earlier this week, Bears fans were kept on the edge of their seats as some pretty notable players were all placed on waivers by the Capitals. Liam O’Brien and Mike Sgarbossa were two Bears who were expected to be back in Hershey, but two more very solid players would soon find their way back. Christian Djoos and Phoenix Copley, two solid Capitals players from last season, were placed on waivers and sent back to Hershey. While these four players would likely rather been in Washington, their addition to Hershey could be huge for the Bears. Djoos, a Stanley Cup Champion, will bring a lot of high-level experience to the team. Copley did a decent job backing up Braden Holtby last year, having him alongside of Vitek Vanecek will keep the goaltending core of Hershey very strong.
With the key additions made this offseason and the experience of Coach Carbery, the Bears are going to be an underdog team that could perform very well across the AHL. A dominant showing against the Baby Pens Saturday night will help set the tone. If they are able to hit mid-season form in October, as Coach Carbery has stressed to the team, the Bears can be a dominant team. At home tomorrow, O’Brien and Burgdoerfer will be wearing “A’s”.
By Zac Herr