Thrashers: Training camp report, Day 3

By Holly Gunning

Day 3 of Atlanta Thrashers 2003 training camp was the last day of pure drills.
The drills remained the same, as Coach Hartley continued to stress talking to
one another on the ice, and positioning during the breakout, including facing
the person who is passing to you. Sets of players who continually missed passes
had to repeat the drill.

Young defenseman Garnet Exelby continues to impress, despite the fact
that the drills aren’t of the type that play to his strengths. Not only is his
skating agility and passing good, but he came in first in his skating group,
beating star Dany Heatley.

Tryout player center Jason Bonsignore remained on Team B, but this time in
white, dressed in white along with prospects Derek MacKenzie and Stephen Baby,
as well as newcomer Eric Healey. Bonsignore received a good deal of individual
instruction from Coach Hartley during drills. His conditioning level is low
entering camp; his endurance during the suicides was sub-par.

Goaltending tips

The team has a new goaltending consultant at camp this year, Gilles Lefebvre.
According to Lefebvre, he and Bob Hartley know each other from the Quebec Major
Junior Hockey League. Lefebvre was the goaltending coach for the QMJHL Shawinigan
Cataractes in 2000-01 and currently resides outside Montreal.

Lefebvre’s daily sessions with the team’s goalies run for a half an hour after
regular practice is done. His drills emphasize side-to-side movement and recovery
from the butterfly position.

Last season the goaltenders were directed by Assistant Coach Steve Weeks, a
former NHL goaltender. Prior to Weeks, the goaltending consultant for the Thrashers
was Bob Mason.

Speed trials

It was Team A’s turn to climb the mountain on Day 3. The route up the mountain
is from goal line to blue line, goal line to red line, goal line to far blue
line, and goal line to goal line. Below are how the players in each group finished,
from fastest to slowest. Players with 40 or more NHL games last year are in
italics, and prospects are in bold.

Group 1: Exelby, Heatley, Cowan, Blatny, Doell*

Group 2: MacKenzie, McEachern, Santala, Safronov, Manson

Group 3: Foster, Kaberle, Baby, Healey, Flache

Group 4: Bois*, Bonsignore*

* free agent invitee


Goaltender Milan Hnilicka did not practice, and Kari Lehtonen remains
out with a groin pull…The first preseason game is Thursday, September 18th,
at home against Tampa.

Link to Day 2’s report

Link to Day 1’s report

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