Boucher providing bonding course

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 13, 2013
Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher has put together a crash course on team bonding. 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.'' Tampa Bay, which missed the playoffs last season one year after reaching the Eastern Conference finals, opens the regular season Saturday night at home against the Washington Capitals. ''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.'' In addition to Stamkos and St. Louis, holdovers include Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone. Tampa Bay added goalie Anders Lindback, and defensemen Sami Salo and Matt Carle during the offseason. ''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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs


Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker