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Back On The Ice: Training Camp Begins

Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:15 PM ET / News
By Alexandra Maass  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Back On The Ice: Training Camp Begins

It’s been a long summer waiting for the hockey season to return, but the day has finally arrived.

59 players were listed on the roster for today’s first training camp practice at the JetBlue Traing Facility at the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs. To start the day off at full speed, the players began with some on-ice fitness testing before they were split into two different practice groups. The on-ice testing included sprints and timed skates around the rink.

Captain Ed Jovanovski said that the team is excited to start the season and “everyone is on a clean slate, fresh and ready to go.” The team is also looking in great shape, considering head coach Kevin Dineen said that was an issue for the team last year.

“That was the message at our end of the year meetings,” said Dineen about coming into this camp in shape. “We’re all pleased with the results that showed the effort was put in this summer.”

The off-season conditioning definitely paid off as their speed and strength showed on the ice. While the players battle for a spot on the opening night roster, some will take their time getting back into practices as they prepare for the opener on Oct. 3. Players returning from injuries that skated today included Jovanovski, Kris Versteeg and Aleksander Barkov while reigning Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau was held off following testing. Coach Dineen expressed his excitement for the progress they have made, especially Versteeg.

Jovanovski practicing on the first day of camp exceeded his post-surgery expectations, although there is still a lot to work on.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good,” Jovanovski said. “As these few weeks go on, I think it’s just going to get better.” Jovanovski also said it’s great getting back and seeing all the guys working together.

“It’s great to see the amount of guys that show up before training camp. We got some good practices together.”

He’s not alone about being thrilled to be back on the ice

“It’s like a kid in a candy store,” said Versteeg who had so much pre-training camp excitement; it even gave him a tough night sleeping. “You’re just excited to get here and get things rolling.”

As for his return after surgery on his ACL, he says he’s feeling strong and ready to go. After mentioning other pro athletes, such as Derrick Rose returning from ACL surgery, he said it tests your commitment to the game and returning back stronger than before.

“There are so many people that played a part in helping me get back to where I need to be,” Versteeg said. “You have to understand there’s always a risk there, but in the end it’s what you do. And you got to go in and play your best regardless of what was in the past.”

Training camp has just begun, but dates to look forward to this weekend are the inter-squad scrimmage at the Iceplex in Coral Springs on Saturday, Sept. 14, and the doubleheader vs. the Nashville Predators at the BB&T Center on Monday, Sept. 16.

Overall, it was an exciting day for players and fans alike that showed up for the first practice of training camp. Dineen said it had been a positive first day, and is ready to learn and start moving forward as the team forms. The several veterans returning and many young players vying for a spot on the opening night roster are moving the Panthers forward through training camp at full speed.

Training Camp Schedule

Sept. 13 – practice (9 a.m. – Noon) – Saveology.com Iceplex


Sept. 14 – practice & intra-squad scrimmage (9 a.m. – Noon) – Saveology.com Iceplex


Sept. 15 – practice (9 a.m. – Noon) – Saveology.com Iceplex


Sept. 16 – doubleheader vs. Nashville (2:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.) – BB&T Center


Sept. 17 – practice (10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – Saveology.com Iceplex


Sept. 18 – practice (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.) – Saveology.com Iceplex; depart for Dallas 2 p.m.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

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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