|Predators Martin Erat (left) and David Legwand joke during a break in an informal skating session at Centennial Sportsplex on Monday, August 27, 2007. |
Temperatures might be hovering around the 100-degree mark outside, but the nip of hockey is back in the air at Centennial Sportsplex, where several Predators players have been getting back on the ice for informal sessions with training camp just around the corner.
For about an hour in the mornings, a growing number of players (eight were on the ice Monday) do drills and participate in half-sheet three-on-three games to work on getting coordination and their hands back. After some ice time the players then hit the weight room to polish off their off-season programs.
“We just want to keep our fitness level up, and these little games help because we get to be competitive and we are still working hard,” forward Martin Erat
said. “I haven’t been on the ice in two-and-a-half months so I just need to get my legs going again and get the feel of the puck on my stick.”
While the majority of the team will start rolling into town a week before training camp begins on Sept. 13, several, including Erat, David Legwand
, Vernon Fiddler, Chris Mason and Darcy Hordichuk were anxious to get into town and get in the swing of things. Others, like Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and newcomer Martin Gelinas, returned a bit early to enroll their kids in school.
“We will be getting quite a few more guys in this week so we can start doing some regular drills and games,” Dumont said. “After a while, during the summer, usually you get to where your legs and your skating are there, but your hands don’t want to follow your legs. We will try to get that and the high tempo back to get ready for Sept. 13.”