With the return of the NHL season comes the start of team training camps. On Sunday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers opened their week-long training camp as they prepare for the start of a hectic 48-game campaign. Any questions surrounding the loyalty of the fans were silenced, as more than 3,000 Flyers faithful attended the 2 hour practice. Here are some things to take away from the first day of training camp.
Brayden Schenn paired with first line
After the departure of veteran Jaromir Jagr, many assumed that Jakub Voracek would take his place on the first line. While that could very well still be the case, head coach Peter Laviolette experimented with Schenn on Sunday. Could Schenn see the first line with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell to start the season? It’s possible. Schenn fits the physical, two-way play of that first line. Voracek, a speedy skater, would work well with Daniel Briere and Wayne Simmonds on the second line. I still believe we will see Voracek on the first line when it’s all said and done, but Schenn is clearly making a name for himself.
Kurtis Foster provides big body from point
The Flyers signed the defenseman to a one-year, $950,000 dollar deal on Sunday morning, though it was pretty much a guarantee that he’d be in the orange and black. Foster is a very big body, showcasing a 6’5″, 225-pound frame. Certainly, no one can replace a guy like Chris Pronger, but the addition of Foster should solidify a blue line with a few question marks. A few times during camp, Foster would blast a hard shot from the point, generating a rebound that lead to a goal.
Brian Boucher is back … again
Trades in the shortened season kicked off with the Flyers trading for a familiar face. The team acquired goaltender Brian Boucher from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for minor league center Luke Pither. This will be Boucher’s fourth stint with the Flyers. General manager Paul Holmgren believes that the acquisition is for insurance, and that Boucher will likely start the season in the AHL with the Phantoms. Michael Leighton will be the backup to Ilya Bryzgalov.
Scott Laughton looking for a roster spot
The Flyers 18-year old first round pick from June will have a chance to make the roster before Saturday’s opening game. With Briere (wrist) likely to miss the first 7-10 days of the season, a roster spot has opened up for the rookie. So far, coach Laviolette likes what he sees. ”I thought he did a nice job out there,” Laviolette said. “System wise, he seemed to understand. He’s a smart kid … a smart two-way player.”
The line combinations and final roster are still unsure, but what isn’t is the feeling of joy and excitement to have the Flyers back on the ice.