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Panthers Mailbag: 03.26.10

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Welcome to the Panthers Mailbag, a feature that can be found only on

Questions from around the world came in for our players and coaching staff so look below to see if your question was answered. If not, don't worry, it could be answered in future mailbags. And if you haven't submitted a question or would like to, just fill out the form found on this page.

Questions can be found in bold. And if something needs additional commentary or clarification, it will come in italics before the player provides his answer.

And away we go.

(*Questions for this week were asked prior to the Panthers trip to Canada*)

Question for Peter DeBoer - During the season, teams visiting Florida hold team building activities when having a few days off before a game in Florida. They go sailing or fishing etc. I know we do it at training camp, but do the Panthers ever do this during the season?

Nick Dean - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

- "We do. I think the weather down here affords teams from the Northeast that get down here to do those types of things. When we go north, its usually snowing (laughing) so you don't have that luxury to do that. But this year in Finland when we started the season, we did some team building activities. We took the guys to a place Ville Peltonen had recommended, saw an island, did some things there. I know that the players on their own hold some team building activities. We had a Super Bowl party on the road during the year. There's some things that go on for sure."

Question for David Booth - I have always wondered what the players do during the intermission. What do the players do, and what do you do?

Zach Cohen - Weston, FL

- “You kind of sit and talk about what happened last period and what you have to do next period. Sometimes you'll ride the bike just to keep the blood flowing. It's pretty simple.”

Question for Michael Frolik - Did you ever think you were going to be in the NHL as a child?

Alex Montero - Miami Beach, FL

Frolik -
"It was always my dream. I think every hockey player when they start looks to make the NHL. I didn't expect that I would be here but I wanted to play pro. My whole family is involved in hockey so we always watch NHL games at home. So it was always my dream. I was kind of surprised last year to make it since it was my dream. I'm just living in it now and I'm just enjoying it and it's great to be here."

Follow up - How much work was it to get to this level and how many hours would you practice a week?

Frolik -
"You definitely have to work hard. It's very special to make. There's only like 600 players in the world that play in the NHL. That's not a lot of guys.

My family was all about hockey so hockey was always first place. School was kind of second (laughing). It was just hockey, hockey, hockey and I really started early. My father got me started on the ice when I was three. When I was little, I used to try to be on the ice when I could. So it was like four-five times in a week. After, you had to train and learn some new things so I tried to stay after practice for a little bit and work on some things. If you want to make it, you have to work hard at it.”

Question for Byron Bitz - Hi, now that you are on the Panthers, any body you didn't like on Boston?

Gregory Lee - Coral Springs, FL

Bitz -
“No not really. It was a good group, same as here. I had a lot of good friends there."

Follow up (not really…) Thoughts of Cornell and their run in the NCAA tournament? (Bitz played college hockey at Cornell)

It's pretty impressive. I had them in my pool so I'm rooting for them for sure. I think they're the real deal. They're playing well and hope they keep going.

(Unfortunately Cornell lost to #1 seed Kentucky 62-45 Thursday night in the Sweet 16)

Question for David Booth - I read that changing your workout routine had a big impact on your game because you used to workout like a football player and got pretty bulky but you eventually switched your training so you could focus on improving your speed and lower body strength. Are there any specific workouts or exercises you wouldn't mind divulging?

Aaron D'Souza - Dartmouth, Canada

Booth -
“It was just getting to the track. You go to the track in the summer four times a week and you're in the gym the other two. Every weight session I did, I did two sessions of track. I worked more on the athletic approach than body building approach. I do a lot of sprints.”

Question for Peter DeBoer - Greetings coach: When do you decide to take a timeout and what do you usually talk about? And does your wife tells you what suit to wear?

Juan Hoyos - Orlando, FL

DeBoer -
"It depends on how we're playing. Sometimes it's to yell and scream and wake some guys up and sometimes it's to calm the team down and to get them to stick to the plan because other than a couple of bad breaks, I think we're playing pretty well. So it depends on the circumstance.

(laughing) "You know what. She stays out of my suits. I get my ties and suits all mixed up. I'm not the most color coordinated guy so she has kind of given up on me there and has left me on my own."

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