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The KISS Army

GeneNEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Sitting here in my luxury hotel suite an hour-and-change from the Big City, and all I've done tonight is watch Family Guy and the Gene Simmons marathon on A&E.

First off, exciting, I know. Secondly, never have watched this show before. Strangely addicting. Good stuff.

Going to get a good night's rest since tomorrow is our big first day at the U.S. Military Academy in nearby West Point. The team is going to have a normal practice in the morning, then go off and do what Army people do.

Sounds like a lot of basic training stuff, only with a lot of teamwork built in. Will update everyone.

JM feels like the Panthers weren't much of a team to kick off last year, and they want to have chemistry they didn't have right off the bat. Plus, there aren't that many additions to this team, so that's a plus.

Tropics -- In case you missed it, we ran our super-special NHL section in Sunday's editions of The Miami Herald. Check it out online, or run out to a machine, pop in a couple of quarters and read it old-school style.

-- D Steve Montador didn't join us on this trip, and it isn't because of his back. Apparently Monty needs knee surgery, and he's going to have it Monday. Don't have a timetable, but expect at least a month. At least the Panthers have depth at the position.

-- Guess what's down the street from Ye Old Marriott Inn? Orange County Choppers. Yep, the good folks from American Choppers are set up right around the corner. Going to pay a visit tomorrow. Will say hello to the boys for you.