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Day 1: 2007 Rookie Camp Update

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
By Justin Copertino for


This one adjective summed up Panthers Assistant Coach Guy Charron’s feelings after the Panthers rookies’ first 60 minute practice at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Thursday afternoon. The Cats prospects are preparing for a four-day rookie tournament that begins on Friday with Ottawa, Toronto and Pittsburgh also participating.

After waking up this morning in Toronto, the 20 Cats prospects completed medical and fitness testing at a hotel just near the Toronto airport, before taking a 45 minute bus ride to Kitchener where they hope to take home the championship trophy upon completion of the round robin tournament.

“It’s going to be a great tournament,” said Panthers goaltender David Shantz who spent last year playing for both Florida (ECHL) and Rochester (AHL). “We haven't had too much success in past years, but this group of guys has been together for a couple of years now and I feel good about our chances.”

The spirited practice included several drills aimed at getting the players acclimated to one another’s playing style before their first game against Ottawa tomorrow at 2 p.m. The practice ended with all the players’ participating in one-one-one breakaway drills that tested both of the Cats two goalie prospects, Shantz and Tyler Plante.

“The players really responded in practice today,” said Charron. “We had a great workout and all our players competed hard. You don’t really have too much time to prepare for these rookie tournaments, but we accomplished plenty today and our guys we be all set for tomorrow’s first game.”

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