Nolan Patrick joined the Flyers for a full day of practice on Monday for the first time in over a week and the change of pace has been a welcome one for the 19-year-old rookie and his teammates.
"It was fun to get back out there and be a part of the team again. It was a pretty short skate, but it felt good," said Patrick. "It's frustrating for anyone when you're injured and I'm trying to stay positive and not really think of it that way, and when I come back I'll try and contribute as much as I can.
The comeback could be as soon as this week, pending clearance from a number of different areas.
"It's good to have him back with the group," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "It's early in the process. He's on the front end of conditioning, timing, there's a lot of things that have to come back to game level and that's no different than any player and certainly for a younger player. He's going to work hard at that and he has been working hard at that."
Patrick was in a yellow jersey, jumping in and out of drills during the skate and stated during his interview with the media that he will be joining the team on their two-day trip to Minnesota and Winnipeg, which also has a personal significance to him.
"Hopefully I'll be ready to go, it will be pretty cool to play in my hometown. I think I was in Grade 8 when they got the team so it was obviously pretty exciting. I remember I was in home-economics class sewing, that's when I found out they got the team back. It was pretty cool for Winnipeg and everyone around the city was pretty fired up for that."
Video: Nolan on rejoining the team for practice
In addition to Patrick joining the team, there were a few changes at practice today, most notably to the line formations.
Jordan Weal moved up on a line to center Wayne Simmonds on the right side and Dale Weise on the left. Weal had primarily been playing the wing since training camp, but for most of his career had been a centerman.
"We just changed the mix of a couple lines there. It gives everybody a new combination," said Hakstol. "Both of those lines have had two guys who have played together there before and it's a little bit of a shift."
"I think putting Wealer at center, it's a little different look for him in that we haven't had him at center since he's been here, but he's a naturally centerman, so I want to see if he can add a little bit of a punch up the middle there, which I think he can."
With the shift, Valtteri Filppula moved to centering a line with fellow Finn, Jori Lehtera, who is now playing the left side, while Travis Konecny played the right.
"We have a lot of good players on this team so we're just trying to find something that's going to click so we can get a little more offense throughout the lineup," said Weal.
CONGRATS TO #8
While the Flyers will be grabbing dinner tonight in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, Flyers fans can catch a special occasion taking place in Toronto - the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction.
Former Flyer great, Mark Recchi will be inducted as a member of the Class of 2017. While there were no Flyers who played with him during his time in Orange and Black, there were a few Flyers who played against him in their careers.
"By the time I played against him he was in Boston," said Simmonds. "You can tell the competitive spirit he had and obviously he was one of the all-time greats going into the Hockey Hall of Fame. I think it was just his determination with his size and the skill that he had, he just combined it all and he was like a bulldog out there."
"He was just a hard-nosed player that was just kind of always in the right spot to bang those puck home," said goaltender Brian Elliott. "You see some of the highlights where he scored memorable goals. I think he's always been at the top of the crease and banging some stuff in."
Added Elliott: "I think I read something the other day that he won three Stanley Cups with three franchises in three different decades and I was like, 'I don't think anyone has ever done that before' so that's pretty cool."
Recchi served two tours of duty with the Flyers, over which time he collected 232 goals and 395 assists for 627 points in 602 games to rank eighth on the Flyers' all-time scoring list. His 123 points in 92-93 still hold as the most points in a single season by any player in franchise history.