We’ve already spotted (and heard from) many Flyers players, prospects and management in the last week that despite their summer being relaxing and enjoyable, they are ready to get back to work for another season of hockey.
And Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube is no different.
|Berube was an assistant coach of the 2005 Calder Cup Champion Philadelphia Phantoms. |
“I have three kids and they’re all young so I do a lot with them at home. They like to swim and I try to play as much golf as I can. During the year it’s hard because you’re not with them a lot so I try and spend as much time as I can with them. We also head back to my hometown in Alberta for about a week, but that’s it. That’s my summer.”
Berube is entering his fifth season behind the bench for the Flyers and 15th overall as a member of the Orange & Black, having played from 1986-87 through 1990-91 and 1998-2000, and serving as a coach of their minor league affiliate midway through the decade.
Needless to say, he’s been a staple around the area for quite some time and he, like the rest of Flyers fans, are getting a little anxious to get the show underway.
“I get away from it pretty good, but I’m very close to [the rink] so if I need to come in I can, but I’m ready to get to it now. I’ve been away from it long enough and I need to get back and start hockey again. I miss it.”
Much has been made this summer of all the new faces to appear in the Flyers lineup and it’s the job of head coach Peter Laviolette, Craig Berube and the rest of the Flyers staff to have this team come together in a very short time.
Thus training camp is an important, and especially this year, necessary step according to Berube.
“We obviously have some new guys that have to learn our system, so we’ll have a few days to practice, but then we start games right away. As much as we can, we have to try and teach the system with the practice time that we get and then we’ll look at the players in the games.”
During his tenure as a member of the coaching staff Berube looks at this year in particular as one in which many Flyers prospects and rookies could earn a full-time role and crack the line up come October.
“There’s more spots open [this year] with the trades that we’ve made. There’s probably six guys who are looking to crack the line up and have a chance so there’s definitely more opportunity this year.”
Guys like Brayden Schenn
and Sean Couturier
are on the radar and will be given plenty of looks. However there remains many players who have been in the Flyers’ system for the past year or more that could make the jump.
“We’ll look at some of the young guys in the games, the ones that are really fighting for jobs. Some of them have the chance to make the team, but then again you’re not sure,” said Berube.
One thing is for sure, guys like Tom Sestito
and Zac Rinaldo
who have tasted some time in the NHL are taking coach’s advise and skating at the team’s practice facility.
“I think the sooner the guys get here and skate on their own and get to know each other is really important. When you have so many new guys and they can all get together and skate a couple weeks before camp is really important.”
Just how well and early on the new team blends in and learns the system we won’t know until the team’s season opener in Boston on Oct. 6. But the one thing for certain is that there will be more than just one or two prospects under the watchful eye of Laviolette, Berube, Mullen and McCarthy, among others in what’s sure to be an exciting Flyers Training Camp.