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2 Minutes For: Allen, Fleury & More

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
  And now four words Panthers fans has been waiting to hear for nearly a year.

Bryan Allen is skating.

The veteran defenseman, who missed all but the first two games of last season due to knee surgery, reports from Canada that he’s been skating since the middle of July and has suffered no setbacks.

“I’m very excited about getting ready to come back,” said Allen, who’s been skating on his own and with a group of professionals in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. “The knee feels good, but I also have to be cautious and take the right approach and not go too quickly.”

Allen, who suffered swelling in his left knee during last year’s training camp after underdoing arthroscopic sugery on the knee during the summer, said doctors in Vail, Colorado were pleased with his progress when he visited them the last week of July.

“The doctor was happy and more-or-less cleared me,” Allen said. “I still have to make the progression where I’m going full-out in drills and contact and stuff like that. But they didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be fine.”

Allen says he spends approximately 30 minutes skating on his own each day before slowly working into drills with other players.

“I’ve been through the initial skating with crossovers and forwards and backwards stuff,” he said. “I haven’t really progressed to stops and starts and explosive stuff yet, but that’s my final step. That will come the later part of August when I’m in Florida. Again, it’s just progressing forward, and that’s been the game plan and approach since this started. They (the doctors) asked, ‘When is training camp? When do you have to start?’ Then we made a plan to build up to it. You can’t jump right in. The first part was building strength and now it’s on-ice stuff.

“Once camp starts, I feel there should be no issues and no worries, and that’s been the goal. I feel confident. But, obviously, until I really get into those situations I’m not really going to know.”
Allen’s return will be a huge boost. An alternate captain, Allen’s character and size would give the Panthers a top four defensive group that includes Bryan McCabe, Keith Ballard and Jordan Leopold.


“In my first years as a pro, Willi Plett never even took his equipment home for the summer and he never skated. My training routine was I’d walk all summer…I didn’t use a golf cart.” Lightning GM Brian Lawton on the change in off-season conditioning.


I’m all for Theo Fleury trying to make a comeback at 41 after a six-year absence for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. If a team does offer him a tryout, Fleury’s story will generate interest for the league whether he makes it or not. Fleury’s decision to try and return is a reversal from his feelings two years ago when he told NHL Digest, “I don’t miss hockey at all.”

Jonas Brothers Wednesday at BankAtlantic Center. In September, Lil Wayne on the 6th, Springsteen on the 13th and Disney On Ice takes over the 17-20.

Sixteen days until the Sept. 2 pre-auction hearing regarding the Coyotes. The only thing certain is nothing’s certain.

It’s a little safer in the Southeast now that Evgeny Artyukhin has been sent to Anaheim.

Panthers defenseman Clay Wilson was born in Minnesota, but he grew up in the town of North Pole, Alaska. More on Wilson here at next week.

Leon Rochefort.

Song of the day: ‘Take The Long Way Round,’ by Teenage Fanclub.

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