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Monday, August 23, 2010
Offseason work paying off for Kari Lehtonen

By Mark Stepneski

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen is back in town, looking a little slimmer and saying he’s feeling fit after stepping up his offseason workout routine this summer.

Lehtonen was among a small group of Dallas Stars players and others who worked out both on the ice and off it in Frisco Monday.

“I did a lot of work in Atlanta with a personal trainer five or six times a week. I was trying to prepare myself for the season,” Lehtonen said. “I feel great and right now I just need to get used to being on the ice.”

Lehtonen has struggled with injuries during his career. He missed most of last season due to a pair of back surgeries. This summer’s conditioning program included work on his back, hips and groin. He said this is the best he’s felt heading into a season.

“For sure. I have way more strength and energy,” he said. “It feels that way on the ice too. I don’t get tired as soon the way I used to. Everything just feels better.”

Lehtonen spent part of his time Monday working out on the ice with goaltending coach Mike Valley. Lehtonen and Valley spent time working together in Frisco during the Stars development camp in July as well.