A quick Q&A with the Canes forward, who spent three days this week in Vail, Colo., doing high-altitude training with strength and conditioning trainer Andy O'Brien. Skinner said there were 15 players at the camp, including Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
Q: What's the best way to describe the camp?
A: "It's just the bunch of guys I've been training with this summer with (O'Brien) in Toronto. It's sort of like a mini-camp. You work out in the morning, skate. It was pretty good. It's the same training we were doing all summer but (mile-high altitude) just makes it more difficult. There are not a lot of distractions. When you're starting a season there's a lot going on (in Raleigh) and lot of people moving in and unpacking and stuff. It's sort of nice to get away and get that mindset going of being ready for our camp."
Q: What's the biggest benefit of altitude training?
A: "It sort of sucks the energy out of you pretty quick up there. It's definitely a little harder. I guess that's kind of the mindset, that when you come back down (to sea level) it's supposed to be a little easier to get oxygen through your body."
Q: Was it noticeable today in the workout (at RCI)?
A: "A little bit. It's definitely easier to breathe down here than it is up there. It's a tough week. It's the end of the week and I didn't feel that great. But with the lungs I think you sort of feel it, for sure. ... I did it two years ago but didn't do it last year. This is the first time I did it when I've been doing (O'Brien's) stuff all summer. I think that has benefited me a lot."