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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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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