In anticipation of the NHLPA overwhelmingly approving the new collective-bargaining agreement, with player voting slated to end at 8 a.m. Saturday, the league has given teams permission to conduct physical exams and fitness testing Saturday.
Canadiens players will go through their tests early Saturday morning in Brossard and there will be ice available for them at noon. Training camp will officially open Sunday when the players hit the ice at 9 a.m.
Max Pacioretty is ready to dazzle the Habs’ fitness staff this weekend after putting in some serious time in the gym during the lockout.
“As the end of the lockout became a reality, Max upped his ice time, so we decreased the volume of his work in the gym to avoid overtraining,” Pacioretty’s personal trainer, Ben Prentiss, told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. “This way, he could still skate and lift without getting burned out.
“His intensity was still very high. We focused on Olympic weightlifting and plyometrics for power, and sled-training for speed and strength. This way, we were able to continue to maintain his body weight at a steady 218 pounds and keep his strength levels very high.
“There is nothing we had to lay off, we just added soft tissue therapy and a few rehabilitation exercises. Obviously, we’ve been training hard since May, but we were peaking for September.
“Once we knew that wasn’t going to happen, I needed to periodize his training. Now that his ice time is increasing, his overall conditioning is ready for the new start of training camp.”
You can read Stubbs’s feature story on Pacioretty by clicking here.
The Canadiens announced on Friday that tickets for the first two home games of the season will go on sale Sunday at noon, but had yet to announce what plans they had to say “we’re sorry” to fans after the lockout.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said: “Our plans aren’t completed. Here in Montreal, the fans are the most important thing and we recognize that. We want to do something that will be very much appreciated.”
Gazette sports editor Stu Cowan spoke with HIO fan Ian Cobb, organizer of the annual HIO Summit, to get his reaction to Gary Bettman’s apology for the lockout this week and also offers some suggestions on how NHL teams can say sorry to their fans. Read Cowan’s column by clicking here.
Read how the “Habs effect” is helping sell Tour des Canadiens condos in a hurry by clicking here.
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)