If there isn’t going to be a 2012-13 NHL season, no one told Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby and James Neal or any of the other 20-some NHL players attending a weeklong impromptu training in Plano, Texas this week.
Prior to when the season was to begin and the current lockout began, Crosby continued training as usual to stay in the best physical shape possible, which should come as no surprise. He’s a no nonsense player who takes his job seriously both on and off the ice with his intense workout regimen (known for working with NHL trainer, Andy O’Brien, and having already taken part in a high altitude training earlier this month in Vail).
This week’s training began Monday around 10:45 at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter ice rink. It originally started out as the idea of a few current and former Dallas Stars players, but the word just spread from there. The practices are headed by former Florida Panthers assistant coach Jim Hulton.
Current Stars players include Trevor Daley, Ray Whitney, Mark Fistric, Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler, and Richard Bachman. Steve Ott (fellow Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mike Weber joins him as well as Adam Pardy), James Neal (who also brought fellow Penguins Crosby and Chris Kunitz along with him), and Sheldon Souray (who came with fellow Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler) are among the former Stars players.
Many other NHL players were told about the camp and are taking part as well such as Edmonton Oilers Shawn Horcoff, Detroit Red Wings Daniel Cleary, San Jose Sharks Ryane Clowe, Tampa Bay Lightning Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcel, Minnesota Wild Torrey Mitchell, and Boston Bruins Aaron Johnson.
Since the lockout doesn’t allow the players to be in contact with their teams, this was all organized by the players including renting the ice rink and hiring people to take care of the equipment and have food and drinks following practices.
Although the training isn’t closed to the public, according to a Dallas newspaper, rink seating isn’t open to the fans and the only available area to watch is from behind the glass in the viewing area when the players are working on the ice. So keep in mind if you plan to go to watch some hockey or with the hope of seeing your favorite player skate that with the lockout there aren’t any official guidelines other than what the StarCenter rink has in place / has decided.
Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.