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Hedman says 'body is great' ahead of training camp with Lightning

Defenseman, who was finalist for Norris Trophy, missed 14 games last season because of injuries

by David Satriano / Staff Writer

Victor Hedman said he is healthy entering training camp for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"If I wasn't 100 percent, I wouldn't be here right now, I'd be in Tampa," the 28-year-old defenseman said at the NHL European Player Media Tour in Sweden on Thursday. "I'm excited and ready to go."

Hedman, who had 54 points (12 goals, 42 assists) last season, missed 12 games in the regular season and two in the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of injuries. He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy, given to the League's top defenseman, for a third straight season; he won the award in 2018.

"Body is great," Hedman said. "I've been able to do what I want to do this summer. I'm fortunate enough to skate with my hometown team Modo (in Sweden) and they've taken good care of me ever since I went over to Tampa. My offseason has been great and looking forward to the last few weeks before I head over to Tampa for the final touches."

Video: BOS@TBL: Hedman tucks in carom off end boards

The Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 wins last season (1995-96 Detroit Red Wings) and won the Presidents' Trophy as the top team in the League before being swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference First Round.

"It's tough to really point at one thing," Hedman said. "The NHL is a tough league. It's tough to win and having the regular season that we had, we had that for a reason, but we put ourselves in the position that we were the favorites to win. We played a team that played us well, played us hard, played us physical ... just a matter of small details in the game that they did well and we didn't. It wasn't good enough. We learned from that and will try and improve this upcoming season."

Hedman said the Lightning wouldn't take their foot off the gas during the regular season, but that all that matters is how they perform in the playoffs.

"If we go and win another 60-plus games, that's not going to change the end goal that we have," he said. "The first goal that you have as a team is to make the playoffs ... and work toward what we all want, to win the Stanley Cup.

"As a player, I think it's important for you to learn from the setbacks and learn from your mistakes and take that with you, but you can't change what happened. That's in the past and all you can do is do better next time."

Video: TBL@WSH: Hedman nets slick backhander for OT winner

Selected by Tampa Bay with the No. 2 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Hedman has 418 points (94 goals, 324 assists) in 696 regular-season games and 48 points (seven goals, 41 assists) in 84 playoff games.

"We know what we can do, and we proved that last year in the regular season," Hedman said. "But other teams are going to be better too this year, and for us, we can't look back and say we're going to have a good regular season again and just wait for the playoffs."

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