Less than 24 hours after the NHL locked out its players, a few took to the ice for practice at the Florida Panthers practice facility in Coral Springs, Fla. Tomas Fleischmann had been spotted early in the morning and had worked out prior to the player scheduled practice. Kris Versteeg was also in attendance, but watching from the side as he’s still healing from an off season surgery, and will skate Tuesday supervised by the team.
Among those spotted not from the Panthers organization were former Panthers Tomas Vokoun of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Radek Dvorak of the Dallas Stars. Vokoun was wearing the Penguins practice jersey he had been wearing for the past few weeks while practicing in South Florida and was the only one on the ice in a team issued jersey. Un-signed Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov represented Russia on the front of his jersey.
Leading the practice was Saveology.com Iceplex hockey instructor Gatien (Gus) Dumoulin with a little help from Panther defenseman Mike Weaver.
“The only person that doesn’t get hurt by an NHL lockout is Gary Bettman,” Vokoun stated, referring to the lockout reaching far beyond the players and owners.
Some players had forgotten to bring towels to their practice. Kulikov laughed as he was denied a towel by the team when he asked to use one. Versteeg managed to “acquire” a towel and lend it to Kulikov, however. Among those on the ice for the Panthers were Stephen Weiss, Marcel Goc, Tyson Strachan, Mike Weaver, Peter Mueller, Tomas Kopecky and Kulikov.
Players will be holding practices at the Saveology.com Iceplex, most starting at 10:00 a.m. You can call the facility at 954-341-9956 to find out when the next practice may be. Be advised that times and days on all practices may vary as well as how many skaters will be available on the ice. If you’d like to attend a practice, the facility’s address is 3299 Sportsplex Drive, Coral Springs Florida, 33065.
A big thank you to George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) for providing information on today’s skate. Feel free to follow his coverage of the Florida Panthers here.