NHL Lockout 2012: Panthers players make best of the situation

Bruce Bennett

Panthers players find different ways of coping with not playing hockey.

Florida Panthers' players want to return to work and are waiting patiently for the NHL lockout to end. In the meantime they're doing a good job of passing the time, a report by the Sun Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov revealed Wednesday.

According to Fialkov, defenseman Ed Jovanovski and goaltender Jose Theodore went trick-or-treating and have been playing a lot of golf. However, while the downtime is great everyone of them want to get back on the ice:

"Anytime you have extra time with family is good, but we're creatures of habit and are used to coming to the rink every day,'' said Jovanovski. "To have it taken away from us is very frustrating, but I'm optimistic it will work out.''

The message is the same for forward Scottie Upshall, who has fully recovered from abdomen surgery:

"At the end of the day we're not going to be in the same situation we were the last couple of years, but we've got to find common ground, a line of reality where they can't have us overcompensating that much.''

Some players, like Sean Bergenheim, played a bit in Europe, but the risk of injury is too much says Fialkov – Bergenheim played two games in Finland before re-aggravating a groin injury.

In the end, says defenseman Mike Weaver, players just want to get a deal done and return to playing:

"I enjoy the family time,'' said defenseman Mike Weaver. "But the NHL needs to realize how much this is hurting the game and the bad taste it's leaving in people's mouths. Out of sight, out of mind.''

If the NHL and player are able to reach an agreement. The Panthers could return to action in early December.

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