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Panthers Mailbag: 1.01.10

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Welcome to the third Panthers Mailbag of the season, 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.

Question for Tomas Vokoun - What is the one thing about playing in the NHL that never gets old?

Ryan Kelly - Bloomsbury, NJ

Vokoun - "I think the whole thing (never gets old). It's first class. If you ever play in the minors, you know how different it is. Everything's first class. You stay in nice hotels, fly on private planes and stuff like that. I think it's something you never take for granted and it's something that never gets old. It's pretty nice treatment and i think that's what drives you to try and stay in the NHL for as long as you can."

Question for Peter DeBoer - How do the regular players handle all of the injuries and who chooses the players they bring up to cover the injured?

Jean Webb - Wellington, FL

DeBoer -
"We have meetings as a group on who we're going to bring up. Really the final decision is our GM (Randy Sexton) with a big say from our coach in Rochester (Benoix Groulx), who's playing the best. We really want to make this an organization where you reward play in the minors. We really don't want to be a team that just calls up players because of what they're making or where they were drafted. It's got to be on a merit system and that's kind of the process that we try and follow.

"I think they're used to it. Today's NHL player it's part of the game. You play 82 games, you travel, it's a grind. There's always going to be injuries so it's something that these guys deal with on a daily basis. There's faces coming in and out. The nice thing for us is they know these guys that are coming up now. We've used them enough and they're good enough players, they know they can come up and contribute."

Question for Michael Frolik - If you weren't a hockey player, what would you want to be instead?

Tara DeLong - Royal Palm Beach, FL

Frolik - "I don't know. My whole family is in hockey. My father played, my brother plays. So i don't really know what i would do if i didn't play but probably something in business."

Question for Nathan Horton - I am 7 years old and wanted to know what age you started playing hockey and did you play any other sports? i play football, soccer, and baseball but want to play roller hockey instead of soccer next year. I asked for in-line skates and a Horton jersey for Xhristmas so i can be ready.

Tyler Decaro - Plantation FL

Horton - I started playing when i was three maybe four and i played lacrosse growing up. I also played baseball but when i started really getting into hockey, i just played hockey and lacrosse.

Question for Gregory Campbell - During the singing of the national anthem, both benches look like they are rocking and rolling side to side...what's that about?

Glenn Normile - Boynton Beach, FL

Campbell - "I just think there's a lot of adrenaline in your body at the time before the game. You're excited, you're nervous and you're trying to stay loose and warm. I think if you look at the benches and the guys eyes are closed and everybody's half asleep then that would be a scary sight. I think that's why everyone's just trying to get ready for the first shift."

Question for Rostislav Olesz - Who smells the most in the locker room?

Grant Lee - Coconut Creek, FL

Olesz - (Laughing) "I don't even think about it. You'd have to ask the guys that deal with the equipment. I don't really know."

Question for Tomas Vokoun - I understand that you are a Chef. Where did your love of food come from and will you persue it after your hockey career?

Vaughan Horasan - Miramar, FL

Vokoun - "I grew up with it. My dad was a manager of a restaurant ever since i was little. We owned a couple of restaurants too in the past when my dad was younger. We still own one. I just grew up with that.

"On the other hand I don't think it's the thing that i'm going to pursue when i'm done playing. It's a really tough business. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. You have to be at the restaurant every day. I'm undecided what i'm going to do when i'm done playing but it seems like it would be too hard to do."
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