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2 Minutes For: Rookie Camp, Tanguay & More

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
  While the official start of training camp is still 12 days away, things are heating up with the Panthers.

Players continue arriving in South Florida and participating in informal practices at the new incredible ICE in Coral Springs. Stephen Weiss, Kamil Kreps and Bryan Allen joined Cory Stillman, Nathan Horton, Tomas Vokoun and Jordan Leopold last week. More players are expected in town this week.
On a side note, Allen, who missed all but the first two games last season with knee surgery, said after Friday’s practice he was feeling good and the knee felt like it was getting stronger.
Meanwhile, coach Peter DeBoer and his staff will welcome the team’s rookies Sept. 7 for a four-day camp. The Panthers will have “four days to work them (the rookies) out both on and off the ice to get them up to speed before the start of (training) camp,” DeBoer said.
It will be a critical camp for rookies Shawn Matthias, Michal Repik, Jason Garrison and Keaton Ellerby. Whether any of these players make the Panthers out of training camp or spend the first part of the season with the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., will, in part, be determined beginning Sept. 7.
The Lightning’s decision to sign Alex Tanguay made a happy camper of Vinny Lecavalier, who told the Canadian Press: “All the guys I’be talked to who played with him said he’s unbelievable. He’s going to bring a lot of offense to our team.”
The Lightning, who scraped the bottom of the Eastern Conference last season, have improved with former Vancouver defenseman Matthias Ohlund, No. 2 draft pick Victor Hedman, and now Tanguay.
“It’s a big season,” Lecavalier said. “We didn’t have a good season last year but the team has changed and has been given a new dimension.
“If we are successful, and we expect to be, (Wayne Gretzky) will have a major role in the Coyotes,” Daryl Jones of Ice Edge, who hope to bid on the Coyotes in 11 days.
Peter Forsberg, who’s been out of the NHL since 2007-08 because of persistent foot problems, played a preseason game last week in Switzerland. The 36-year-old is hoping for one last shot at the NHL along with Theo Fleury and Jason Allison.
Amazing what Claude Lemieux started.

Message from players to Paul Kelly - don't let the door hit you on the .......
Bruuuuuuuuuce is almost at BankAtlantic Center.

Much-traveled Mike Sillinger called it a career last week after 17 NHL seasons with 12 different teams, including the Panthers. The 38-year-old center, always strong in the faceoff circle, played 68 games with the Panthers between 1999-2001. He retires having played 1,049 games, recording 548 points, and showing up.
Rick Smith
Song of the day: Beautiful Day, by Ziggy Marley
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