The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to welcome fans back to the Forum on Sunday for the opening of an abbreviated training camp.
The NHL is set to return to action this weekend after a lengthy lockout with the opening of training camps, assuming the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified by the NHL Players' Association this morning.
The NHLPA will release a statement when the voting results are final.
The first day of Lightning camp will include a fan-friendly event with contest giveaways, food and drink specials, special merchandise deals and an autograph session. Free parking is available in the East and West lots, while the city garage adjacent to the West lot will open its Florida Avenue entrance at 8 a.m.
The Forum doors will open at 9 a.m., with autographs from 10-11 a.m. Players will hit the ice for a public practice from 12:30-2 p.m. Between the autograph session and the start of practice, there will be commentary from team management and coaches, with owner Jeff Vinik expected to address the crowd at 11:15 a.m.
In addition, the team will hold a presale for single-game tickets during Sunday's festivities. Season ticket-holders not at Sunday's event may participate in the presale through their ticket representative. The Lightning will pay all Ticketmaster fees during the presale.
Single-game seats will go on sale to the public on Monday.
After Sunday, training camp will move to Estero, where Tampa Bay will practice for four days at Germain Arena. The sessions are scheduled for Monday at 6:15 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
On Friday, the team will return to Tampa for an open practice at the Forum tentatively scheduled for 11:30 a.m. that will include free lunch on the plaza.
Good to go
Despite a gash on his right kneecap, which was still under an adhesive bandage on Thursday, G Anders Lindback fully participated in Friday's informal workouts at the Ice Sports Forum. Lindback took part in the practice session and returned for the 45-minute scrimmage.
Although his intention was to ease into things after arriving from Sweden late Tuesday — he didn't skate Wednesday and only took a few shots on Thursday — Lindback jumped right into the action Friday, showing that there are no questions heading into training camp regarding the cut on his knee. The gash required six stitches after he was struck with a puck during a practice in Finland.
Lindback said everything felt good after practice Friday and he's ready for the start of camp on Sunday.
"It looks good. It healed good, and they did a good job treating it, so it's not an issue,'' Lindback said. "I didn't want to rush anything. I haven't been on the ice for a couple of weeks and it's always a little tough on the body the first time back on the ice, so I got a good workout in (Friday) and I'm ready to go Sunday.''
Looking for work
Former Lightning D Brett Clark remained in Tampa throughout the lockout and was on the ice this week with his former teammates in the hopes of finding a job once the CBA is ratified.
The 36-year-old appeared in all 164 regular-season games and 18 playoff games in his two seasons with Tampa Bay, which was the fifth team Clark played for in his 13-year NHL career.
Clark said Friday his agent has had some inquiries, but nothing can be done until the CBA is approved.
Nuts and Bolts
C Kyle Wilson, acquired from Nashville in the deal for Lindback, arrived in town Thursday and skated with his new teammates for the first time on Friday. … Tampa Bay player development coach Steve Thomas, who is expected to aid the coaching staff this season, was at the Ice Sports Forum on Friday, along with coach Guy Boucher. The coaching staff is not permitted to interact with the players until the CBA is ratified.