- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
- Yemen defense ministry rocked by suicide bomber, gunfire
Guy Boucher has Lightning bonding in a hurry
Tampa Bay opens season Saturday against Capitals
After holding their first post-lockout workout Sunday on home ice in Tampa, the Lightning will travel about 2 1/2 hours south for four days of practice and team activities starting Monday in Estero, Fla.
“I’m not going to kid myself. It takes three weeks to a month to really put things on the ice … a system and really execute it consistently, and even then we usually start the year all over the place like everybody else,” Boucher said. “These guys are going to be animals coming out of a cage. They’ve been wanting this for a long time. The main focus this week is game shape and chemistry.”
“Anytime you can have a chance to bond even more, it’s just going to benefit the team,” said center Steven Stamkos, who scored a league-leading 60 goals last season. “I know Guy is a big fan of this. Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of hard work. We’re not going down there to have fun all the time, but there’s going to be opportunities that guys are going to get know each other even more.”
Nearly one week after a tentative labor deal was agreed to by the league and its players, the sides agreed to a required memorandum of understanding on Saturday night that allowed for training camps to start.
“It’s frustrating it took four months of the season, and we acknowledge that,” Tampa Bay chairman Jeff Vinik said. “We’re working as hard as we can, I know the players are, to win back our fans. Players and owners alike agree that this process was unfortunate, not in anybody’s best interest and harmed our game.”
“So, one way we’re trying to repay the fans is have a 10-year agreement so they know that for another decade they don’t have don’t have to endure another situation like this,” he said.
NHL teams will play a 48-game regular season. The Lightning’s training camp totals just six days.
“We don’t have much time,” right wing Martin St. Louis said. “We want to have a good start. I think the biggest thing we have to address is, obviously, our conditioning, but our chemistry as well. So we have to jell … we have to come together quick.”
“It’s nice to be here, and go back on the ice,” Lecavalier said. “The whole atmosphere of getting back in it, it’s exciting.”
The Lightning held a fan fest before Sunday’s practice, an event that included an hour-long autograph session. Several thousand fans attended and gave the team a loud ovation at the beginning and end of the workout.
“Obviously, we’re very excited that this is all in the past now,” St. Louis said of the lockout.
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- NAPOLITANO: Liberty, the wellspring of capitalism and charity
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights amid escalating tensions
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.