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Working Out with Andy O'Brien

Thursday, 05.24.2007 / 11:14 AM ET / News
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Working Out with Andy O\'Brien
Andy O’Brien has a busy summer planned.

Entering his third season as the Panthers strength and conditioning coach, O’Brien will be traveling throughout North America the next several months checking on players and working with Panther rookies at Prospects Camp outside Toronto and Development Camp in Kitchener, Ont.

But even before he launches his summer tour, O’Brien is spending much of his time at the BankAtlantic Center working each morning with Panther players.

On a recent weekday morning, O’Brien was working with nearly a dozen players including captain Olli Jokinen, forwards Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss, and defensemen Bryan Allen and Branislav Mezei.

“It’s pretty standard for these guys now during the summer to prioritize around their off-season workouts,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just something they do in their spare time. It’s something they plan their life around.”

And something players want to be involved with.

According to Weiss, who set career highs last season in goals (20) and points (46), O’Brien’s workouts have been “huge for me personally, and a lot of the other guys.”

“He has a way of training that’s a lot different from other trainers I’ve seen,” he added. “Real hockey specific stuff that makes you stronger.”

O’Brien’s daily workouts begin with a two hour speed work at a nearby track that includes different types of sprints, lunges and plyometrics. The players then return to BankAtlantic Center for lifting and conditioning.

“The first phase (at the track) is just trying to get their bodies rebuilt,” O’Brien said. “It breaks down during the season. They end up having certain muscles getting really strong and certain muscles get really weak from skating because it’s not a real natural movement. So the objective is to try and strengthen some of those weak muscles and increase flexibility and get them going through a range of motions that are more optimal.”

Those include “marching drills and stretches and dynamic movements that help restructure their bodies so they’re stronger and can handle greater workloads,” O’Brien said. “The intensity of all the work generally increases more and more and more as the summer goes on.”

O’Brien, also known for his work with Sidney Crosby, customizes each player’s workout, including those currently recovering from surgery like Jokinen, Allen and Mezei.

“The main focus for them right now is on their rehabilitation,” said O’Brien of those coming out of surgery. “They’re really focused on overcoming their injury but also making sure they don’t lose their fitness while rehabbing.

“It’s difficult to be aggressive in their training right now because you don’t want them in a position where their body is going to break down,” he added. “That’s why we get so many of these surgeries down earlier in the (off-season) so they have a window where they can still have a significant amount of time in the summer to get their bodies fit and ready.”

While players of the past may have taken several weeks or months off after the season, O’Brien said those days are long gone.

“When you go through a period of three or four weeks of doing nothing, which is sort of the old-school mentality, your body really stiffens up,” he said. “Your body goes through a period of de-training and its almost that much time again to get your body ready to actually train.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
D. Bolland 48 5 16 1 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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