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09-14-2012, 01:00 PM
TheDaysOf 04
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Over the summer, Connolly joined Stamkos and personal fitness fanatic Gary Roberts outside his home near Toronto to participate in summer workouts, which Connolly characterized as “intense.”

It seemed to pay off, however, as Connolly said he feels stronger, faster, more confident, and even added 12 pounds of pure muscle since the conclusion of last spring’s regular season.

“Last season was a rough one for me, so coming into this year, I knew I needed to make an impression,” Connolly said. “I felt like I needed to change a lot of things not just in my game, but off the ice like my eating and sleeping habits, so working with Stammer and Gary really helped me with what I need to do to take the next step in my game.”
“I know the skill is there and I feel like I got better during the second half of the season and towards the end of the regular season, but I wanted more and wanted to make myself as prepared as possible heading into this year because I still feel like I have to prove myself,” Connolly added. “For me, Gary Roberts and Stammer were the right guys to help do that, so I felt like I needed to do those workouts, and I wanted to do them.”

On Thursday in Brandon, even Stamkos admitted he could already see a difference in Connolly’s game.

“He worked extremely hard all summer and showed the dedication that he wanted to get better,” Stamkos said. “I can tell how much quicker he is on the ice, how much faster and stronger. This is just the beginning for him, but he’s already taken that leap.”

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