• RSS

Prospects Hit the Beach, Get Healthy

Wednesday, 07.13.2011 / 6:27 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
Share with your Friends

Prospects Hit the Beach, Get Healthy
Development Camp: Day At The Beach Photos
While the Panthers prospects weren't on the ice Wednesday, they did get a solid workout in.

That training session came as they hit Deerfield Beach for a round of stretching and drills, conditioning run and then some fun as they split up into groups of five and six to battle it out in beach volleyball and beach football.

"It's a nice change of pace for the guys," said Panthers strength and conditioning coach Dr. Craig Slaunwhite. "They're still working very hard but it's nice for them to be in a different environment and get out of the rink for a day."

The idea to train at the beach partly came from Slaunwhite and partly from Director of Player Personnel Brian Skrudland. The former Panthers captain lived in Deerfield Beach back when he played for the team and it was a great opportunity to get the young players out into the south Florida sun.

"I think this was a recipe for success for our hockey club back in the '90s," said Skrudland who along with teammates visited the beaches when they were playing but not in a team building setting. "It's sort of a laid back beach that gives us an opportunity to take advantage of getting to know one another and build relationships. This is a memory that these guys will have in their minds. We have a lot of guys that have touched the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in their lives so it's a pretty cool thing."

For a lot of the players, it was the first time they trained using a beach setting that they went through Wednesday morning.

"It was a lot of fun. It was definitely a change. Doing team bonding stuff like this definitely brings us closer together," said defenseman Colby Robak who is entering his second year as a pro. "It was a nice day. We got to do things that most of us from Canada haven't done before.

"It's totally different (the beach training). It definitely works different parts of your body. Slauner took us for a run and all of us were saying our shins and calves are killing us. It was definitely a lot of fun and something to try."

"Not for training. I've done it for fun," said forward Quinton Howden, the Panthers first round pick (25th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. "It was lot's of fun. It was a nice jog at the beginning. The games were pretty intense."

While the morning may have seemed like it was just for a time for fun, ending with free time and some swimming in the ocean, there was a pretty specific reason for the training.

"Normally we're in the rink in a cold environment. This is a little bit different for them," said Slaunwhite. "It's actually a little bit harder to exercise here with the sun coming down on them.

"The sand is also a different surface so it helps them work on appropriate perception a bit and makes them work a little bit harder."

Development Camp: Whole Foods Visit Photos
After a lunch at the Whales Rib in Deerfield Beach, the prospects bussed back to the Saveology.com Iceplex. There, the team split into two groups. One group stayed to learn how to cook with the help of chef Nikki Pettineo while the other group made their way to Whole Foods Markets in Coral Springs for a quick lesson on what to look for when shopping. The two groups then switched to take in the other experience.

"When we were developing the program for the development camp, we identified (cooking and shopping) as an area that the guys need to work on," said Slaunwhite. "A lot of guys will be living on their own for the first time this year. Not having mom or dad around to cook for them or their billets around to cook for them and shop for them so we thought this was important to teach them the skills that they need to enable them to make the best possible foods."

With Whole Foods' Health Starts Here program, the prospects learned about the four pillars of healthy eating from the store's Healthy Eating Specialist Diane Tyrrell. Those pillars were made up of whole food (eat whole, unprocessed foods), plant-strong (eat a colorful variety of plants), healthy fats (eat healthy fats) and nutrient dense (eat nutrient dense foods).

"I just want them to feel comfortable in the grocery stores and knowledgeable as well," said Slaunwhite. "There's a lot of little hints that we gave them along the way in shopping around the perimeter and trying to maximize the fruit and vegetables they get. As long as they pick up on a couple of those things, I think they're a step ahead of where they were before and a lot of other guys in the same position."

The Panthers are back on the ice Thursday morning with the first session (two groups) starting at 9am.

(Video features from both events will be featured next week on FloridaPanthers.com)




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


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
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.