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Working Out with Andy O'Brien

Thursday, 05.24.2007 / 11:14 AM ET / News
Florida Panthers
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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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