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Guy Boucher wants no fights in Tampa Bay Lightning camp

HE’S   BACK: Center Eric Perrin, part of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup team, is in camp after spending last season in Russia. “I know what my game is, and I’m going to try to bring those positive good things,” he says.

DIRK SHADD | Times

HE’S   BACK: Center Eric Perrin, part of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup team, is in camp after spending last season in Russia. “I know what my game is, and I’m going to try to bring those positive good things,” he says.

BRANDON — There were moments during Saturday's physical scrimmage when tempers on the ice seemed about to flare. But officials stepped in, and no punches were thrown.

That comes from coach Guy Boucher, who wants no fighting at camp.

"This is not an extermination camp. It's a training camp," he said. "They all have our jersey on, which means they are part of this family. They belong to us, and we start that respect. It starts here for me. We don't want anyone breaking their hands."

Beyond that, Boucher said, there is no room on the roster for players who only brawl.

"If they're just going to fight, they're not good enough to play at our level," he said. "If they're good enough, they're going to show it … which means they're going to earn their way into at least one exhibition game. They can dance with whoever they want from there."

Enforcer Mitch Fritz, with 157 penalty minutes in 73 games last season for AHL Norfolk, said his style is not cramped — much.

"It limits you a bit in that you don't want to run guys and hurt guys and start fights," he said. "But we're all teammates, and (Boucher) doesn't want anyone breaking hands and breaking faces. That's what the exhibitions are for."

TAKING OWNERSHIP: Owner Jeff Vinik loved the big, boisterous crowd that in places around the Ice Sports Forum rink was three and four deep.

"They told me I couldn't park here, but somehow I managed to work my way in," he said. "It's exciting. It's been five months since last season. I've been looking forward to this date."

Vinik praised GM Steve Yzerman and CEO Tod Leiweke, and said there is "great momentum starting" in terms of improving corporate participation and ticket sales, though he declined to be specific.

"It's a process," he said. "We're going to improve this organization and the brand over time. …We want to develop this organization into something the whole community loves and respects."

SCRIMMAGE: Right wings Niklas Persson and Richard Panik had two goals each in the White's 6-2 victory over the Black. Boucher singled out Panik, a prospect, and C Dominic Moore, a free agent acquisition, as standouts.

"He represents a lot of stuff we want to do," Boucher said of Moore. "He's fast. He's gritty. He's in your face. He drives the net. He forces himself between the dots in areas that hurt, but it pays off."

BEWARE: Yzerman said the pace and intensity was "outstanding" for a first practice. But Boucher had a warning: "I have some guys who are vets I need to sit down with because I'm not happy, and some new guys I'm not happy with, either. I don't wait for things to happen. I get down to business right away. (Today) I'm expecting a few guys to do better than they did (Saturday)."

ODDS AND ENDS: C Mitch Fadden could miss all of camp with an upper-body injury sustained at this month's prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich. ... LW Sean Bergenheim (shoulder) did not scrimmage and wore a yellow noncontact jersey during practice. … The team is on the ice at 10 a.m. today. Fan activities begin at 9 a.m.

fast facts

Lightning

training camp

When/where: Through Tuesday at the Ice Sports Forum, Brandon

Schedule: Today — practice/scrimmage, 10 a.m.; Monday — practice, 10 a.m.; Tuesday — practice, 11 a.m.

Note: All activities are free and open to the public.

Preseason opener:

8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Dallas

Guy Boucher wants no fights in Tampa Bay Lightning camp 09/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 18, 2010 9:44pm]
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