Stamkos says he needs to prove himself; musing about Frantz Jean and Lightning camp
You know your summer is over when it is about 90 degrees outside and you are standing in the Ice Sports Forum with a fleece sweater and remembering how cold that building is. Fourteen Tampa Bay Lightning players showed up at the Brandon rink for some tune-up work leading to training camp.
Captain Vinny Lecavalier worked for about 45 minutes on his own while rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and reported no problems. And center Steven Stamkos surprised with his thoughts on having to prove himself to a new coaching staff.
You wouldn't think Stamkos would have to prove himself to anybody after his 51-goal season in 2009-10 tied him with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead. But Stamkos said he's talking about doing the little things that aren't apparent to those who don't see him every day.
"To a certain extent the coaching staff is very knowledgeable about what the players have done in the past and what they're capable of," Stamkos said. "Bu they don't know the little things. They don't know your work ethic, your practice habits. In that regard you want to show you're coming out to work hard every day and you want to be out there in all situations. I think it's more the little things they don't get to see on a day-in, day-out basis that your old coaches did. That's the kind of impression you want to make, especially early on."
Bottom line, Stamkos said, "We're going to have a fun team to watch this year. I'm just excited to do whatever it is I can to get this team into the playoffs."
Training camp: There has been some confusion over when and where, but that was cleared up for the most part. The team will report Sept. 17 at the St. Pete Times Forum for off-ice testing. The team will scrimmage at the Ice Sports Forum on Sept. 18, 19 and 20 before flying to Dallas for its Sept. 21 preseason opener. No times have been announced for any camp days.
Other stuff: Though the Lightning also spoke to Jon Elkin about a job as goaltenders coach, it is looking more and more like Frantz Bergevin-Jean, the long-time goalies coach for Moncton of the Quebec junior league, will get the nod. ... Lecavalier said he has no pain in his left knee, but still needs to strengthen the left leg, something that will happen quicker once the swelling goes down. "When there's swelling you don't have as much strength in the knee or the quad," he said. "Strength-wise, when I come out of the corners, that jump I usually have is slow." Trainer Tommy Mulligan lauded Lecavalier's commitment to rehabbing. "It's as hard as I've seen him work since I've been with him." ... The six-team preseason prospects camp in Traverse City, Mich., gets under way Saturday. ... Senators defenseman and former Lightning Filip Kuba also is skating. He said he kept his Tampa Bay place and spends about three weeks there after the season before returning to Europe for the summer. ... Defenseman Mattias Ohlund and wife Linda had their third child, a daughter, Stella, born in July.