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Officially Under Way

Friday, 09.14.2007 / 5:43 PM ET / News
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Officially Under Way
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

Just before 7 a.m., as the village of Vail was waking to a clear sky and morning chill, the Panthers officially kicked off their 14th training camp with drills on the ice, workouts off the ice, and a genuine feeling of enthusiasm.

“It’s always nice to get started,” said captain Olli Jokinen, who led the first group onto the ice at 7 a.m., at Dobson Arena, a 29-year-old building with a pine ceiling that has hosted several NHL teams and concerts by Ray Charles and The Fray. “It’s been a long summer, so we’re happy to get started. I think everyone is excited.”
Dominique Taylor (Vail Daily)

The 42 players brought to Vail by GM and coach Jacques Martin were split into two groups. The first group was led by Jokinen, Ruslan Salei, Tomas Vokoun, Jozef Stumpel, Branislav Mezei and Cory Murphy while the second group included Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton, Jay Bouwmeester and David Booth.

Martin watched from the stands with special assistant Joe Nieuwendyk while each group skated 90 minutes under the on-ice direction of assistant coaches Guy Charron, Mike Kitchen and Pierre Groulx. The players then took part in a one-hour workout under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Andy O’Brien.

“There’s definitely a lot of enthusiasm around the team,” Martin said after watching the practices. “I think it’s a real positive. The fitness results this year have been the best since I joined the organization. I think it shows the commitment of players during the off-season as far as training and as far as being conscious of wanting to improve on some of their skill level whether it was strength or power or quickness.”

While Charron raced the players through numerous drills on the ice, O’Brien worked the players off the ice in an indoor basketball court.

“Our off-ice workouts are about an hour long and we try to keep it really intense,” O’Brien said. “We split the group into two. Right now what we’re doing is half of the group is doing some bike sprints, high level intensity, and the other group is doing foot drills, speed work and lower body core strength work.

“It’s an opportunity to push the guys and develop a standard of intensity that we want them to work with, not only through training camp but carry it over into the season. And, hopefully, it will make them feel really fresh and really fit when they start the season.”

One player feeling fresh was 30-year-old ‘rookie’ defenseman Cory Murphy, acquired as a free agent after playing the previous six seasons in Finland and Sweden after never being drafted.

“It’s exciting,” Murphy said. “The first day is exciting anywhere, but to be here with this team is really exciting. It’s a good group and it’s a lot of fun.”

The Panthers, who were welcomed at owner Alan Cohen’s home Friday evening for dinner, will skate Saturday morning at Dobson Arena before boarding a plane that will carry them to Calgary, where they’ll play their first preseason game Sunday evening against the Flames. It will be the first of three games in three consecutive days stretching from Calgary to Edmonton to Saskatoon. After a day off, the Panthers will play Sept. 20 against the Blackhawks in Chicago before heading back to South Florida.

The Panthers first preseason game at home will be Sept. 25 at noon against the Blackhawks.

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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
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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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