SUNRISE, FL – The Florida Panthers prospects will begin their on-ice training for the upcoming 2005-06 season at the Ottawa Rookie Tournament, beginning on Sept. 5 and concluding on Sept. 11. RW Anthony Stewart (Florida's second choice, 25th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft), C Rostislav Olesz (Florida's first choice, seventh overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft) and LW Kenndal McArdle (Florida's first choice, 20th overall in the 2005 NHL entry Draft) highlight the Panthers tournament squad.
The Panthers rookie-tournament team will face teams of drafted players and free-agent tryouts from the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Eligibility rules for the tournament require that no more than three players per team have one year of American Hockey League experience, and those players must have been born after 1983 if they played in the Canadian Hockey League. Drafted players who held amateur status in 2004-05 and any player approved by the other four teams are also eligible. The Panthers have four confirmed players with professional playing experience, Jeremy Swanson, Tuma, Rob Globke and Kamil Kreps played for the Panthers' former AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
Along with daily on- and off-ice workouts, the team will play three games beginning Sept. 6 against Carolina at 4:30 p.m. Florida's team will also face Montreal (Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m.) and Ottawa (Sept. 9 at 8 p.m.) in the round-robin tournament. The Panthers first two games will he held at the Corel Centre, the Senators home rink, while the team's final game will be played at the Ottawa Civic Center.
The rookie tournament precedes the start of Florida's training camp that will open at incredible ICE in Coral Springs on September 14. More training camp information will follow next week.