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Tampa Bay Lightning notes: Home opener likely Jan. 19 vs. Capitals

BRANDON - Details are still being worked on, but the Tampa Bay Lightning will open training camp at the Forum on Sunday and start the regular season on Jan. 19. Specifics will not be announced until the new collective bargaining agreement is officially ratified. The league unanimously voted for the new deal on Wednesday. The NHL Players' Association plans to finish voting electronically by 8 a.m. on Saturday and announced on its website Thursday that, if the CBA is ratified according to schedule, camps will open Sunday and the season will start Jan. 19. After the NHLPA vote is complete, the league is expected to release the full 48-game schedule, with the Lightning likely to open at home on Jan. 19 against the Washington Capitals, a game that was on the original 82-game schedule.
The team's goal is to make single-game tickets available to the general public starting Monday morning, with a presale on Sunday for season ticket holders and all others at a Fan Fest event at The Forum, according to spokesman Bill Wickett. While the first day of camp is normally for physicals and fitness testing, the Lightning are expected to hit the ice Sunday for their first official practice, followed by an autograph session with the players. After a Monday practice at The Forum, the team will travel south to Estero and hold camp practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Germain Arena that will be open to the public, Wicket said. The team will return to Tampa for a public practice on Friday that will include free lunch for all fans in attendance. Details will be announced today. Short session New G Anders Lindback took to the ice on Thursday for a brief period of time, taking some shots from D Victor Hedman before heading into the locker room for an off-ice workout. Lindback suffered a cut on his right knee that required six stitches while playing in Finland during the lockout. Though he still wore a bandage over the area Thursday, he said there are no issues with the knee. "It's just a precaution,'' Lindback said. "I haven't been on the ice for a couple of weeks and I don't want to rush into anything because I know that when I haven't been on the ice in a while I tend to start slowly and just increase the workload. Your body always reacts a certain way when you haven't jumped on the ice for a certain amount of time. So, it's just one step at a time.'' Lindback expects to do a little more on-ice work on Friday and will be ready for full participation when camp opens. On the move A pair of Lightning prospects were on the move Thursday ahead of the trade deadline in the Ontario Hockey League, including first-round pick D Slater Koekkoek. Koekkoek, the 10th overall pick in the 2012 draft, was dealt from Peterborough to Windsor. In 40 games with Peterborough, Koekkoek – who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury – was second on the team with six goals and 28 points but was a team worst minus-26. In addition, D Jake Dotchin, a fourth- round pick (70th overall) in 2012, was moved from Owen Sound to Barrie. In 38 games with the Colts, Dotchin had a pair of goals and 14 points to go with 39 penalty minutes. Day off With the start of training camp coming this weekend, the intensity of informal workouts at the Ice Sports Forum has started to pick up. Though there are no requirements to attend, C Vinny Lecavalier, RW Teddy Purcell, LW Ryan Malone and LW Benoit Pouliot were absent on Thursday. Head coach Guy Boucher overlooked the workouts from outside his office at the Ice Sports Forum, but is not allowed to have any contact with the players until the CBA is ratified. Informal workouts will continue today at 10 a.m., with RW Kyle Wilson expected to make his arrival.

eerlendsson@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7835 Twitter: @erlendssonTBO

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