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Florida Panthers Wrap Up Successful Hockey Camps

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

All Three Schools Host Full Roster of Campers

SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers and incredibleICE welcomed more than 150 aspiring hockey players between the ages of 7-17 over the past three weeks at the Florida Panthers Summer Hockey Schools. Three different camps took place; Fundamental Hockey School, Goalie School and NHL Development Camp, with a different Florida Panthers player serving as a guest instructor each week.

D Mike Van Ryn, G Alex Auld and C Stephen Weiss all spent time at the camps instructing young players on some tips of the game. Each week long camp was designed to give young skaters a basic training on how to play the game of hockey. Panthers Assistant Coach Pierre Groulx, former NHL netminder Rob Tallas and Panthers Special Assistant Coach & Hockey Operations Manager at incredibleICE Tim Kyrkostas also assisted at the camps.

"Some of these kids are back for a second summer and to see their improvement is fantastic," Tim Kyrkostas said. "It speaks volumes for South Florida hockey and it shows how the Panthers organization continues to grow the sport in our area."

At the end of his weeklong fundamental camp, Van Ryn had a special gift for each of his students. He gave each participant a pendant with the name of the camp and Van Ryn's No. 26 hanging from the necklace. Sziro Jewelry of Coral Springs prepared the necklaces.

"I really enjoyed working with the kids this week" Van Ryn said. "It was great to see their excitement to play and learn more about the game each day. The necklaces were the least that I could do to show my appreciation for their hard work."

"It was great to get the opportunity to come down to South Florida and work with these young players," Auld said. "It is very rewarding to see the smiles on their faces at the end of each session."

"It was amazing to have Alex here. It was the closest I've ever come to a Panthers player," said Richard Spielman, a camper at the goalie school. "The camp was great training, but challenging and fun all at the same time."

"Our job as part of an NHL team is to make hockey accessible to these kids. These camps are what we need to do." Groulx said. "I'm from Canada so I didn't know what to expect from kids down here, but I was impressed by their optimism and desire to learn."

"I just returned from a camp in Boston and the skill level is just as good down here," said Jordan Disney, a camper at the NHL Development Camp. "The experience playing with Stephen Weiss has been something that I will never forget."

Additionally, the Florida Panthers Alumni Association provided a grant for one camper, Michael Chapdelaine to attend the goalie school. The Alumni Association also provided a hotel for him and his mother during the week along with a brand new set of goalie equipment.

For more information about the Florida Panthers Summer Hockey Schools, please call 954-341-9956.

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