Panther profile with Denis Shvidki and Panther Roster Cuts

By Mark Fischel
Starting October 4th, Hockey’s Future will be listed as an “official” Hockey site on the Florida Panther’s web page. All Florida fans looking for in-depth information about prospects and rookies will have the opportunity to learn about the prospects by visiting Hockey’s Future. In addition, for the service of the site’s long time readers, we will be able to duplicate the work from the web-site and post it here for all the Hockey’s Future readers.

These articles are from the Panther’s web-site and are sent out to their Cyber-news signups, and are posted here with permission.

One of the first features is a training camp diary of the highly touted rookie Denis Shvidki.

On how training camp is going:

The first couple of days were tough because I didn’t skate that much this
summer because of my ankle injury. My ankle was still sore too. But now I
feel a lot better. My ankle feels much better, and I’m looking forward to
playing in the exhibition games. I want to see how well I can do.

Did it upset you to miss rookie camp:

No, because I wasn’t ready to skate hard. It was good to get therapy on my
ankle. Now I have no problems. We were working on it every day with
ultrasound, ice, and special workouts. Trainer Stan Wong designed workouts
for my ankle that lasted about 20 minutes every day. One more week and
therapy should be over, but right now it feels good and it’s not bugging me.

On the ice…:

I feel good now. I’ve had some really good practices, and I like the line
I’ve been given a chance to skate with. (He’s been skating with Len Barrie
and Paul Laus.) It looks good right now.

He continues:

Next week is a very tough week with four straight games. I want to continue
to work hard and stay late practicing, working on my shots. I want to keep
going and going… right through the season. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired.
It should be a good week with all the games. It’s very exciting.

He feels comfortable here:

I know everyone here this year and I like everyone. The coaches, the
equipment guys, the medical guys have all been great. It’s fun for me coming
to practice. Everyone is smiling and I look forward to it.

On scoring the game-tying goal vs Ottawa…

“It was my first game since last season and I think in the second and third
period I played pretty good. I had a couple chances in the second and in the
third with about five minutes left, I took a good pass from Boyle at the
blue line and I got a breakout and I had room in the net. I just shot it and
it went in. I felt maybe it would go in… Maybe not (laughs). I thought it was a good goal.”

“My conditioning was good and I was not too tired. When we had penalties I
had lots of time to play and the coach could see my conditioning was good
and he gave me the time to play – like in overtime. I had a couple chances
to score in overtime and I feel like the team played good against a good
team.”

On the difference between preparing for last year vs this year…:

“Of course there is a big difference in the NHL vs junior league. Here I
play against the best players in the world and there I play against lots of
young players drafted in the last couple years. I was a leader on my team
last year and I helped them win and play in the finals.”

“I feel like I have a good chance now. I can start playing in the NHL. This
is my second week in training camp and I see now what goes on. I’ve played
in three exhibition games now and I practice every day with these guys and I
feel I can make it with this team. My ankle is good now and maybe I just
need to get a little more physical.”

On playing on a line with Pavel and Igor…:

“(laughs) Wow, it was very exciting to play with them the first time. They
are maybe the two best players on the team or even in the League. The best
scoring player and the best assisting player. The first couple shifts I had
no idea what was going on because it was so fast for me. After a couple
shifts, we played well together and after a couple more practices (pauses).
I don’t know what the coaches will want, but maybe they will want me on this
line. I like to play with those guys and I don’t know, if they like to play
with me… (laughs)”

Is he surprised to have 5 points in 3 games?:

“It is always a surprise because it’s only my second year in training camp.
It’s only three games and to have five points (pauses). Maybe a surprise,
maybe not – I feel like I’m playing good now. This League is very big and
very physical. I try to play smart every shift.”

Have the coaches given you any specific advice on how to make the final roster?:

“Mostly, they let me play my game, but sometimes they will try to help with what I could do different.”

On the area HE thinks he needs to improve…:

“I think I need to improve my defensive zone play. It’s easy for me in the
offensive zone – it’s quicker. Defensive zone is different so to try that
side, I think is the only way you can improve.”

My many thanks to the Panther’s communication dept for their full work on this article.

Panthers announce Roster cuts.

Kyle Rossiter, Brent Thompson, Paul Brousseau, and David Emma have been sent down to Lousville to fight for spots on the Lousville Panthers.

Nick Smith injured his knee in Tuesdays game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and will undergo exploratory surgery to determine the severity of the injury.

Mark Fischel