|Joe Allan, an account executive with the Ottawa Lynx Baseball Club, helped out at the Senators' practice on Wednesday. Allan is a friend of Senators strength and conditioning coach Randy Lee.|
by Todd Anderson
The Ottawa Senators returned to practice Wednesday afternoon as 12 of the club's non-Olympic participants tried to shed some rust after a 10-day break away from the rink.
Many of the players sported tans, as they took advantage of the break and spent some vacation time south of the border.
"I went to Disney World for six days with my girlfriend," said forward Vaclav Varada. "We had a nice time there."
Coach Bryan Murray has a residence in Fort Lauderdale. He enjoyed the break by spending some down time with his family there.
"I went down with my wife, my daughter and granddaughter. It was 86 degree (Fahrenheit) weather, so it was pretty good."
Chris Phillips and his family enjoyed a western Caribbean cruise.
Other players such as Brian Pothier and Chris Kelly opted to remain in winter-like conditions in order to visit family and friends.
"We went to Boston because both of us (wife Gwen) have family there," said Pothier "It was nice to let the kids run wild with their cousins."
Kelly ventured to Europe during the break.
"I spent about six days in Germany and Prague. I visited a former teammate, Andy Hedland, in Germany and then my uncle in Prague. He just had a baby. It was nice to see all the different buildings and experience the culture in those places."
Murray said his players looked out of shape at practice on Wednesday, but he expected that.
"This will be an adjustment for all of us to come back. Coaches don't lose their voices but this has got to be hard for the players. They looked tired out there today. We'll get them into condition and work a fair amount on skill work. Saturday or Sunday they'll feel better than they do now."
Kelly, like several other players, agreed he wasn't at his best at practice on Wednesday, but he expects a quick turnaround.
"We had a week off, so I guess this was a bit of a shock to the body. We'll feel better tomorrow and it will get better from there. We'll be fine when the season resumes."