Paul Thompson has 33 days and four challenge matches to bond together a side in which 16 of his 22 players are newly-acquired signings.
The Sheffield Steelers’ coach will analyse his squad on the practice rink, in personal fitness tests and in friendly games against Sweden’s Leksands and Timra before the serious business begins against Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup on September 1.
Key to Steelers’ success will be to find a chemistry - and find it quickly.
Today, their first day together as a Steelers unit, sees the players (excluding latecomers Chris Lawrence and the Rupert brothers) start that challenge.
“Straight from the off, the idea is to get into a flow and work on speed, feel and our systems” said Thompson.
“The drills will be about finding chemistry, with all these new guys.
“The next few weeks will be about that, more than anything else.
“My group including Danny Mawer (conditioning coach) will push them out of their comfort zone.
“We will push these players harder than ever because we want a great start.”
Last season Steelers had eight pre-season games - which didn’t work all that well.
“We felt we can achieve more in practise in generating fitness, chemistry and timing.”