Falmouth Becoming NHL Summer Training Hot Spot

Florida Panthers rookie Connor Brickley (right) has a laugh while coach Paul Vincent gives him instructions at the Falmouth Ice Arena on July 23.
RICH MACLONE/ENTERPRISE - Florida Panthers rookie Connor Brickley (right) has a laugh while coach Paul Vincent gives him instructions at the Falmouth Ice Arena on July 23.

Cape Cod has always been a summer hot spot for vacationers looking to enjoy the warm weather and the beach breezes. It’s also becoming a destination for those looking for the cold of an ice rink.

APT Strength and Florida Panthers’ skills coach Paul Vincent have teamed up to bring a high level conditioning and training camp to Cape Cod for current and prospective National Hockey League players. Several members of the Panthers are currently working out at the Falmouth Ice Arena, going through both off-ice conditioning workouts with APT, under Pete Tormey and his staff, as well as high level skill training sessions under Vincent’s tutelage. Tormey said that close to a dozen current professional hockey players are taking advantage of the training regimens.

The players are certainly coming to a facility with a wealth of hockey training talent. Tormey, who is in his second year of owning APT in Falmouth, has eight years of professional training under his belt, and also played pro minor league hockey. Vincent has been an NHL coach now for 25 years. This is his second stint with Florida. He helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010, and he’s also coached with Hartford, New Jersey, Boston and Tampa Bay.

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Current Panthers Erik Gudbranson, Alex Petrovic, as well as minor leaguers Quinton Howden, Garrett Wilson, Connor Brickley and Tony Turgeon, have been working out in Falmouth for the past few weeks. Edmonton’s Mark Frasier also has been putting in work at the ice arena, as well as Falmouth residents John Muse, a goalie in the Carolina system, and Roscoe Sweeney, who plays professionally in Europe.

“They’re all trying to get ready for the season, and they’re making a commitment to that by putting in work now to get to where they want to be,” Tormey said.

Vincent explained that the Panthers are putting a major focus on developing players in every facet of the game. Due to NHL collective bargaining rules, the players cannot be forced to attend off-season training workouts. The players that are currently working with APT and Vincent have all chosen to be there, hoping to take their games to the next level.

“There are guys that have been in the NHL, that want to stay there, and guys that have been up with the team that want to be a permanent part of our team in Florida,” Vincent said. “We’re shaping the future here. This will help them to be a cut above and hopefully to be a full timer in the NHL.”

Monday through Friday, Tormey puts the players through about two hours of conditioning workouts. Each day’s routine is different from the previous one, and is determined in part by what Vincent will be doing with the players on-ice that day. The tandem focuses on spreading out the body parts that are worked in an effort to maximize each day’s gains. “We make sure that the components match up,” Tormey explained.

Tormey, who hopes to expand his facility in the near future, believes that what he and Vincent are building could become a big part of several professional players’ annual routines. He said that he believes next year that 20 or more players could be taking part in the offseason program in Falmouth, which runs for about six weeks. “We want to turn this into a hot spot for these guys,” Tormey said. “There aren’t a lot of places in the country that do something like this, and we’ve got it all under one roof...and who doesn’t want to spend their summer on the Cape?”

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