Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Folding sweaters, recreating shapes part of team building for Tampa Bay Lightning

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec — Look at a three-dimensional drawing and recreate the shape using blocks.

Fold sweaters in a specific way.

Not exactly the tasks you would expect a hockey team to perform during training camp. But those were two of the challenges Lightning players faced Tuesday at this stunning resort area 70 miles north of Montreal.

"Thinking stuff," captain Vinny Lecavalier said.

Coaches preferred to call it "team building" as players, they hoped, worked together, learned about each other and began creating the chemistry among them some teams find so elusive.

"If you're hoping for chemistry and you wait for it to happen, you've got one chance out of I don't know how much that it will happen," coach Guy Boucher said. "I've been on so many teams, 'Hey, this team has great chemistry.' It's not something that happens. You work at it."

With Tampa Bay in Mont-Tremblant and Quebec City for a seven-day trip that includes its final two preseason games, there seemed no better time for bonding to begin.

Coaches generally work together on such projects, but the mastermind is assistant Dan Lacroix, who said he has organized such adventures since he was an assistant for Moncton of the junior Quebec league.

Players still talk about last season's paintball outing. And Lacroix after each victory during the season takes pictures of the team's DNA and Warrior award winners (given to the game's top players), and displays them in the locker room.

"So for every win in our season, there's a picture of our success and who paid the price that night," Lacroix said. "Those are the little things that create the team environment, that sense of togetherness and belonging."

And players say last season's locker room was one of the tightest they have experienced.

Tuesday, Lacroix got help from a local company that sets up corporate events. It even created an award for the winning team: syrup in a small glass container shaped like a maple leaf.

Players were split into five five-man teams to tackle eight challenges that began two hours after a tough 90-minute practice in front of about 500 at the Mont-Tremblant Arena.

Frisbee golf and shooting a slingshot were just for fun.

Win a challenge and a team earned a piece of hockey equipment it carried around in a bag as it jogged around town from station to station. The team with the most equipment — Lecavalier, Pavel Kubina, Adam Hall, Blair Jones and Brett Connolly — won the syrup.

The equipment was donated to the Tremblant Minor Hockey Association.

"It's spending time together. It's laughs," wing Marty St. Louis said. "You can't duplicate that."

And if you don't believe players could possibly take all this seriously, consider Lecavalier broke away from a television interview to run, arms raised, into the room where the winning team was announced.

"It's different from just going playing golf," Lecavalier said. "It's about working together, talking, communicating. I love it."

"That's what it's about," Lacroix said. "Get a few smiles and a few good conversations going. All in all, it was a good day."

MOVES: Forwards Mike Angelidis, Michel Ouellet, Alex Picard, Trevor Smith and J.T. Wyman, and defensemen Richard Petiot and Mike Vernace cleared waivers and were assigned to camp with AHL Norfolk.

Folding sweaters, recreating shapes part of team building for Tampa Bay Lightning 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  2. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  4. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  5. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.