PORTLAND – The coaching staff of the Portland Pirates will get a little help when it starts evaluating players for inclusion on its team.

When the AHL team opens training camp at noon today at the Cumberland County Civic Center, Brad Treliving, vice president for hockey operations and assistant general manager of the parent Phoenix Coyotes, and Dave King, the NHL team’s development coach, will be in attendance.

Portland Pirates Coach Ray Edwards expects Treliving, who also serves as GM of the Pirates on the hockey operations’ side, will be in Portland for the first five days of practice.

King, who has coached at nearly every level during a career that spans nearly 40 years, could spend the full two weeks in camp with the team, the coach said.

“He’s an asset for us,” Edwards said. “He’s going to help us evaluate players and he’s going to evaluate us as well. He will doing a lot of one-on-one skill development with these guys.”

The Pirates could start camp with as many as 29 players.

The Coyotes assigned three players to the Portland Pirates and returned one player to his junior club late Saturday night.

Veteran goaltender Justin Pogge and veteran defenseman Dean Arsene and Tyler Eckford were assigned to the Pirates, while defenseman Brandon Gormley was returned to the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

As of Sunday morning, 31 players remained in the Coyotes’ camp. Phoenix has until its Oct. 8 opener against the San Jose Sharks to reduce its roster to 23 players, the league maximum.

Phoenix will play exhibitions on the road Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers and Thursday night against the Calgary Flames.

It will play its final exhibition Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks in Glendale, Ariz.

The Pirates are scheduled to play two exhibition. On Friday, they will play the Albany Devils at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass.

Next Sunday, they will host the Manchester Monarchs in a 1 p.m. game at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Portland will open the regular season on the road at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Pirates’ first home game will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 against the Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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