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NHL Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Saturday Open Forum

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Recap of Day 1 of Cats training camp

Dale Worsnop

The Florida Panthers opened training camp with the first of three practices before they take on the Nashville Predators in a preseason double-header on Monday.

New head coach Joel Quenneville split the 61 players participating in camp into three separate groups: Group A, Group B and Group C.

Group’s A and C each took part in one practice and one scrimmage, while Group B got to scrimmage against both teams. The three groups will rotate, giving each an opportunity to both practice and use the extensive amount of scrimmage action to bring themseleves uo to game-speed.

Each of the scrimmages featured a pair of 25-minute halves, with all penalty calls resulting in penalty shots. Aleksander Barkov, Denis Malgin, Frank Vatrano and newcomer Dominic Toninato were among the players who lit the lamp.

A few questions we had were answered on Day 1.

The number one line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov was left intact with Huberdeau setting up Barky’s aforementioned scrimmage goal with a no-look dish.

New free agent acquisition Brett Connolly was placed on the second line with center Vincent Trocheck and Vatrano.

Anton Stralman was paired with Mike Matheson on the blue line, probably the best fit for the veteran who can now mentor the young Cats defender, who took a step backwards last season.

Noel Acciari’s physical side was on display and Dryden Hunt and Ian McCosen got into a little scuffle, resulting in Hunt losing his lid.

Today’s schedule (Panthers IceDen)

Group B Practice - 10 AM - 10:25 AM (Den Rink)

Group B, Group C Scrimmage - 10:30 AM - 11:35 AM (Stadium Rink)

Group A, Group C Scrimmage - 11:50 AM - 12:55 PM (Stadium Rink)

Group A Practice - 12:55 PM - 1:25 PM (Den Rink)