|6:30 a.m. Players Arrive |
|9:15 a.m. Practice Begins |
|12:15 p.m. Post Practice Scrums |
|2:00 p.m. Intense Beginning |
Some of our players are here bright and early to go through the various "media day" stations when game presentation and right holders shoot NHL headshots, dramatic gladiator video shoots, etc.
This process takes a little over an hour and the set up remains all day. This year’s early bird award goes to Steve Mason, who was the first one in at around 6:35 a.m. and first one out.
|9:15 a.m. |
Group 1 hits the ice at 9:45 on the Flyers rink at Skate Zone and it will be comprised of a lot of NHL experience. The group is comprised of the following players:
Forwards: Brayden Schenn, Michael Raffl, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, R.J. Umberger, Matt Read, Ryan White, Claude Giroux, Chris Porter, Vincent Lecavalier, Scott Laughton, Chris VandeVelde, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Sam Gagner and Jakub Voracek
Defensemen: Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Nick Schultz and Evgeni Medvedev
Goalies: Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason
Group 2 will be on the ice at approximately 11:30 a.m. on the Phantoms rink and will be split up into two “teams”.
Team Black will be comprised of the following forwards: Petr Straka, Tim Brent, Travis Konecny, Tyrell Goulbourne, Cole Bardreau, Colin McDonald, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Danick Martel, Brandon Alderson, Derek Mathers.
Team Black on defense will feature: Sam Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Sanheim, Mark Alt, Phillipe Myers and Nick Luukko. In net it will be Jason LaBarbera and Connor Knapp.
Team White forwards will be: Taylor Leier, Nick Cousins, Aaron Palushaj, Michael Parks, Chris Conner, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Jay Rosehill, Luke Philp and Pavel Padakin.
On Team White defense: Ivan Provorov, Davis Drewiske, Robert Hagg, Logan Pyett, Maxim Lamarche and Jesper Pettersson. In net: Anthony Stolarz and Martin Ouellette.
|12:15 p.m. |
After practice ends the media is allowed to enter the locker room to ask the guys a few questions.
|Hear from Claude Giroux |
|Brayden Schenn |
|2:00 p.m. |
|All the talk that came out of the Flyers locker room this week about players being excited to start training camp certainly proved true Friday morning. The first group on teh ice, which consisted of mostly the NHL roster and other veterans, put forth a workout that certainly didn't look like it was anybody trying to feel anything out - in fact, it almost looked like it was game-level intensity. At one point, Luke Schenn was seen tossing Michael Raffl to the ice during puck-battling drills. |
"That's the players," said head coach Dave Hakstol. "The whole staff has sensed that over the last couple of weeks those guys have been coming into play. A lot of them have been really looking forward to getting out, working together, and working hard together like they did today."
The group tore right through two sheets of ice - after using up the Flyers' usual rink, instead of taking a break for a Zamboni run, they simply moved over to the other side of the facility and finished the practice there. The second half consisted of line rushes against defensive pairings, more or less imitating the shifts in a game situation, Some skating sprints wrapped things up.
Hakstol said that type of intensity will become the norm around Skate Zone.
"That's the pace that I want to practice," he said. "I know it's been mentioned that we don't really have a lot of time, so it's real important to get as much work, and get up and down the rink as much as we can in these first three days even though we don't have a lot of time to do that."
|Rako Gudas shows his game day 1 |
“It was great, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I was injured for a while, but now I’ve got to pace myself and make sure I get back in the right direction.”
Friday’s session saw him paired with fellow newcomer Evgeni Medvedev, who was signed as a free agent out of the KHL this summer and doesn’t speak any English. Gudas doesn’t speak any Russian, but he does know Czech, which might be a start.
“It’s not drastically different,” Gudas said. “There’s a couple words that are similar. But Evgeni is getting better at English, so it’s going to be easier for all of us. He’s been here three or four weeks and his English has picked up drastically.”
It’s obvious that the Flyers have more NHL defensemen than they can dress on a given night, but Gudas welcomes the challenge of cracking that top six.
“Nobody wants to be sitting out,” he said. “I think it’s just good for the team to have eight guys competing for six spots. It’s going to make us a better team as we go on.”