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Locker room prep begins

by Joe Siville / Philadelphia Flyers
Every year around this time, the operations crew at the Wells Fargo Center with the help of equipment manager Anthony “Rock” Oratorio, help refurbish and renovate the Flyers locker room at the Wells Fargo Center.

Composed of many different rooms, all with very different functions, the Flyers locker room goes through its annual painting, maintenance and updating.

Designed with the rich history and tradition of the Flyers organization in mind, the Orange and Black locker room contains two primary walls.

The first is a hallway comprised of the all the team photographs in history, starting from the 1967-68 season at the back entrance right up to the front entrance by the ice surface which will display the 2009-10 season photo.

On the opposite wall is where the true artwork lay. Dubbed the “Flyers Honor Roll”, a listing of all the milestones, team leaders, award winners and the giant Flyers logo is hand painted along the corridor. There is even a section for “Flyers Forever”, a remembrance of all Flyers alumni who are deceased.

The grind of a normal NHL season takes its toll on any room, but especially one that took on an additional 23 playoff games which the Flyers enjoyed this past season, so additional repairs, upgrades and maintenance is required for other parts of the room. These include the coaches’ room, video room, medical training room, weight room, bath and showers, and the equipment managers room.

As you can imagine the equipment managers room has pretty much any and every tool known to man to help our players with whatever they need, but also houses another interesting piece of decoration. A large wooden plaque that displays the name of every Flyer who has played at least one game in Philadelphia since the 1996-97 season, the first year of the new Flyers arena.

One of the most commonly seen rooms is the actual locker room. This is where the players put on their equipment prior to going down the chute and onto the ice. It is also the room in which head coach Peter Laviolette addresses the team before and during the game, and the room that all player interviews from the media take place after the game.

A member of the operations crew repairs the lights in the Flyers locker room. Click photo to open complete gallery.
This room is commonly referred to as the “Hall of Fame” room, because high along its walls are framed photographs of members inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the Flyers Hall of Fame, which now includes this past season’s inductee Dave Schultz.

The final room being touched up is a room that not many people get to see and most casual fans don’t even know about: the dressing room.

Here, the players have another stall identical to the one where they put on their equipment; however this room is where the players can hang their suits or normal street clothes.

Equipped with couches, coffee table, flat screen TV and a mini kitchen, the players, coaches, trainers and equipment managers often spend free time and relax in this room.

With training camp set to kick off in exactly three weeks and first puck drop soon after that, players are slowly starting to trickle into the practice facility at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. It won’t be long before they all get to settle into their home away from home at the Wells Fargo Center.

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