• RSS
Thursday, October 30

11:19 a.m.
The Flyers recalled forward Steve Downie from the Phantoms this morning. Downie is scoreless in four games this season with nine penalty minutes.

Wednesday, October 29

4:24 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers have decided as a group that their pregame skates will now occur at the Wachovia Center rather than the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, beginning with Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

There are a number of benefits to the change, which may or may not continue for the remainder of the season.

“Just the game days, to get the feeling of the ice and of the boards and that kind of stuff, I think is a good move,” said Kimmo Timonen.

“Out here [at the Skate Zone], it’s so cold and the ice is so hard and fast. You feel so good here, and when you get to the big rink, you feel weird. The puck feels different,” added Simon Gagne. “I think it will help our game to go there for the morning skate.”

John Stevens said the move was discussed last season, but never happened for one reason or another. With more and more players living in the city, it will be a shorter commute for several of them.

“With some new guys, the rink is different, the boards are different, the bounce of the boards is different, even the markings on the ice are a little bit different,” explained the head coach.

“We were a little bit concerned about the traffic, but after having practice down at the Spectrum [on Monday], the guys got in without any problem at all. We’re going to go down there [Thursday] and reevaluate after we do it and see how the guys like it. If they like it, then maybe it’s something that will continue.”

The skates at the Wachovia Center are closed to the public.

In other news, Flyers rookie Darroll Powe suffered a slight concussion in Tuesday’s 7-0 win in Atlanta, and stayed overnight at a hospital there before returning home in the morning. General manager Paul Holmgren updated Powe’s status on Wednesday afternoon.

“All the tests they did on him last night were negative. Right now he is listed day-to-day with a slight concussion,” said Holmgren.

“In the replay I saw just very quickly last night, it looked like he went headfirst into the boards. He had a little bit of a knee contusion too, but that isn’t the concern right now.”

Monday, October 27

7:17 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers held a morning skate today at the Wachovia Spectrum prior to boarding the team charter for Atlanta, where they will play the Thrashers on Tuesday night (7:00 p.m., Versus).

Vaananen, Sbisa speak | Stevens after practice

The question of the day centered around defenseman Luca Sbisa, who will most likely play in his ninth game as a Flyer on Tuesday. The 18-year-old rookie would then have to be sent back to his junior club or the Flyers could keep him around and be on the hook for the first year of his contract.
Luca Sbisa was drafted 18th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers. (Getty Images)

Sbisa has two assists and is a -4 in his first eight games in the NHL and has impressed his teammates. Ossi Vaananen, who has been Sbisa's partner for the majority of the season, is particularly astonished with the rookie's maturity.

"He's 18 years old and playing with good confidence and holding the puck, skating with the puck and making good decisions," said Vaananen. "I thnk the confidence is the biggest part. I'm really impressed because if you don't have confidence, no matter how skilled you are, it's tough to play.

"He's a happy guy. He has the right attitude. It doesn't seem like he worries too much, he just gives it his best, goes out there and plays hard and if there's a mistake he learns from it. We talk about alot of things as partners and try to work on our game. Most of the time I forget he's 18. It's unbelievable."

Sbisa admits that the decision is on his mind, but that he has to focus on Tuesday's game with Atlanta more than anything else.

"I have alot of thoughts in my mind right now, but I still have one game to go," he said. "All I can do is play well in that game and see what they say.

"If they sent me back to juniors obviously I'm going to be disappointed at first, but it's not a step back for me. Even if I go back to juniors I can gain alot of experience and come back next year with more confidence than I have no. But my first goal is to stay here."

Friday, October 24

6:14 p.m.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave the following update on Flyers center Danny Briere prior to tonight's Flyers-Devils game at the Prudential Center:

"Danny has a slight tear in his rectus abdominis, which is a stomach muscle," said Holmgren. "He will have surgery at Hahnemann Hospital tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. He will be out of the lineup approximately 3-4 weeks."

"I am surprised by the turn of events that happened today," said Briere. "I hate missing time, but by being aggressive, I will be back soon."

Briere currently leads the Flyers in scoring with three goals and four assists in six games.

5:30 p.m.
Flyers coach John Stevens announced before tonight's game in New Jersey that Danny Briere will be out with a lower body injury and Simon Gagne will be a game-time decision. Philadelphia plays the Devils at the Prudential Center (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

Briere suffered the injury in the last game, a 7-6 shootout loss to San Jose on Wednesday, according to Stevens. Gagne missed that game with the flu.

"It's day-to-day right now," said Stevens of Briere. "I was hoping that he would feel better today and be an option for tonight, and he wasn't. He was going to see the doctor today. We're hopeful he's feeling better. It's just one of those things and we'll see how he is tomorrow when we get back."

Darroll Powe will be in the lineup for Philadelphia on the fourth line, making his NHL debut.

"We really like the things he brings on the fourth line," said Stevens. "He skates really well, he's got good size, he can really get in on the forecheck, [and] he can kill penalties if needed. He just adds a dimension that we think can help us."

Thursday, October 23

2:04 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers were back to work on Thursday morning at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone with an 11:00 a.m. practice today.

Still off the ice was Flyers left wing Simon Gagne, trying to recover from the flu that kept him out of last night's 7-6 shootout loss to San Jose (Antero Niittymaki suffered from the bug in Denver last week). John Stevens said after practice that he is "hopeful" for Gagne to get back in time for tomorrow night's game in New Jersey against the Devils (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). Gagne has four goals and one assist in five games this season.

His linemate, Danny Briere, also did not skate and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. Briere leads the team with seven points (3g, 4a).

Jared Ross and Darroll Powe were emergency recalls from the Phantoms and both skated with the Flyers today.

For video from today's practice courtesy of FlyersTV, check out the links below.

Stevens speaks
Biron speaks

Wednesday, October 22

12:05 p.m.
The San Jose Sharks held their pregame skate today at 11:00 this morning at the Wachovia Center, where they will play the host Flyers tonight at 7:00 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet).

After practice, FlyersTV caught up with former Flyer and fan favorite Jeremy Roenick, who talked about his relationship with the fans, memorable moments from when he was here, and coming up just short of the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. Roenick will be making his second and likely final Philadelphia appearance since he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in the summer of 2005.

To see the exclusive interview, click here.

Tuesday, October 21

2:32 p.m.
Andreas Nodl, recalled from the Phantoms this morning, met with the media following today's practice at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. To see his availability, click here.

FlyersTV also caught up with John Stevens, Mike Richards and Antero Niittymaki, who will make his second straight start in goal tomorrow night against San Jose. To see those videos, click the links below.

Stevens speaks
Niittymaki/Richards speak

9:35 a.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers recalled forward Andreas Nodl from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, on Tuesday morning according to club general manager Paul Holmgren.

In five games for the Phantoms this season, Nodl has a goal and two assists for three points and six penalty minutes.

The 21-year-old Vienna, Austria native was drafted in the second round by the Flyers (39th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, and is expected to make his NHL debut on Wednesday when Philadelphia hosts the San Jose Sharks (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

He will wear uniform #14.

Monday, October 20

3:18 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers have reassigned forwards Steve Downie and Jared Ross to the Philadelphia Phantoms, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Downie was scoreless in four games with nine penalty minutes, while Ross did not register a point in two games and had two penalty minutes.

The Flyers held an hour-long practice today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. Afterwards, Flyers coach John Stevens met with the media, as did several players.

To view the media availability, click the links below.

Stevens speaks
Hartnell/Upshall/Briere speak

Friday, October 17

7:37 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers arrived in San Jose shortly before noon on Friday on a flight from Denver. After checking in at the team hotel, it was off to practice at the HP Pavilion for a 2:00 skate (local time).

FlyersTV: Stevens/Knuble speak

Changes were evident from the start, as John Stevens broke up his top line of Danny Briere, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. Mike Knuble took the place of Richards with Briere back at center, while Richards instead skated with Scott Hartnell and Steve Downie. Jeff Carter, Scottie Upshall and Joffrey Lupul made up another line.

Stevens explained the change after the skate.

"We're not having continuity in our three lines right now," he said. "The line we tried with Richie, Danny and Gags has worked, but I think it takes away from a couple of our other lines where I think we had some good things going.

"If practice is any indication, it looked great."

Knuble, who began last season with Gagne and Briere, understands the move.

"We're trying to get some chemistry going here," he said.

Philadelphia will be looking to capture its first win of the still very young season against a tough San Jose club on Saturday night (10:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). The Sharks entered their game tonight in Anaheim with a perfect 4-0 record.

After being somewhat pleased with their play in the first three games (despite going 0-2-1), the Flyers were not at all happy with the effort in Thursday night's 5-2 loss to the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. With two games in a row against the Sharks, including a matchup at the Wachovia Center next Wednesday, October 22, there is no better time than Saturday to get into the win column according to Stevens.

"We have to play with confidence, attack the way we know we can, play like a team and get that first win," he said. "There's nothing in this business like winning, and we need to boost our confidence by getting that first win."

Thursday, October 16

3:48 p.m.
Flyers head coach John Stevens made a couple changes to the club's third and fourth lines in time for tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center (9:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

FlyersTV: Stevens speaks | Lupul, Downie speak

The most notable change was shifting Joffrey Lupul to the center position, with Steve Downie and Scott Hartnell as his wingers. Glen Metropolit skated between Riley Cote and Arron Asham Thursday morning.

"It's something I was thinking about the other day," explained Stevens. "He stands out, to me, that when he gets the puck in the middle of the ice he skates really well almost like [Jeff] Carter. He's good in the open ice."

"I like the idea. You get the puck a little more, which I'm looking forward to," said Lupul, who admittedly has not played center since juniors. "I understand the position. I'll going contunue to work on my faceoffs and my positioning, and I don't think it will take to long to get the hang of it."

Stevens also announced that Martin Biron will be in net tonight. Antero Niittymaki missed practice with the flu.

Wednesday, October 15

4:18 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers arrived in Colorado this morning after a three-hour charter flight from Pittsburgh. It was an off-day for the club, which will resume its three-game road trip against the Avalanche at Pepsi Arena on Thursday night (9:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

The Flyers secured their first point in the standings last night with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite starting 0-2-1 out of the gate, Flyers head coach John Stevens was encouraged by the team's play against a top opponent.

"I thought yesterday we played really well from start to finish," he told On The Fly this afternoon from the team hotel. "I know we got down 2-0 in the second period but we battled back, got a point and did a lot of good things in the game.

"It was our third game in four nights, and the guys still showed a willingness to compete right until the end. But, we're going to have to get better. We are going to have to have our best effort tomorrow to win against Colorado."
Braydon Coburn skates the puck with Jeff Carter trailing. (Jack Cassidy)

There is no panic with the team or its coach, but getting that first victory is obviously something that everyone would like to get out of the way.

"I think it's important just because you don't want to fall too far behind out of the gate, and I think it's important for the confidence of your team," said Stevens. "We do have some new players here and some younger players that are a year older, and I think it's important for everybody to get a win to get some confidence. Success always brings confidence, and with that comes enthusiasm which becomes contagious. We need to get a win here so we can hopefully get on a roll and start climbing in the standings."

Colorado has lost its first three games in regulation, so it too will also be looking for its first win of the year. The Avalanche most recently dropped a 5-4 decision to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. Although they have lost all three games, they still can put the puck in the net with 11 goals in the three one-goal defeats.

"Their defense is solid and they still have some offensive threats with Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk and the like. We're going to have to be ready," continued Stevens. "They play an up-tempo game, they work hard, and our whole focus of defense first will be important tomorrow."

The Flyers defense will certainly have its work cut out, but the injury-plagued group had a strong game on Tuesday night, according to Stevens. It is still a work in progress, however, as four of the six defenseman from the previous game were all new to the team this season (Steve Eminger, Ossi Vaananen, Andrew Alberts and Luca Sbisa).

"It takes time for the chemistry to set in and the guys to be able to communicate and work for each other and have support plays for each other and breakouts. But, I thought that group played well last night," said Stevens.

"For Alberts, it's tough to come in in one day and jump in and play on the road in Pittsburgh against a good team, but I thought our defense played well. Ossi Vaananen in particular really stepped up and played well, and young Luca Sbisa continues to be an impressive player for us. I think that group will continue to get better as they spend more time together."

Monday, October 13

3:10 p.m.
Newly acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts commented on his trade to the Flyers with a team spokesman. Below is the brief Q and A with Alberts, who is questionable for tonight's game against Montreal pending his arrival time.

Q: What is your reaction being traded to the Flyers?
AA:  “I’m just excited for a new opportunity.  Things were not apparently working out in Boston.    The fact that I get to come here and contribute, I’m fortunate and excited.”

Q:  Do you know anything about the team you are joining?

AA:  “The Flyers are a hard-nosed team.  They are a tough team to play against.  They have a physical style which I like and they are hard to play against night in and night out. I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”

Q:  What are your strengths?
AA:  “I like to get back to being more physical.  In the Boston system it is a little bit tough to run around and be physical.  Hopefully I can get back to the way I played the first couple of years and be more physical.  I just want to make smart plays and move the puck up the ice.”

12:30 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers have made a trade with the Boston Bruins in which they have acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts. The 6-5, 218-pound Minneapolis native has one goal and 18 assists in 181 career NHL games, along with 231 penalty minutes. Going to Boston are forward Ned Lukacevic and a conditional draft pick in 2009.

For Alberts' full bio, courtesy of NHL.com, click here.

Details and full press release to follow.

Saturday, October 11

10:24 p.m.
Following the game on Saturday, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren gave an injury update to defensemen Randy Jones.

“We didn’t get very good news on Randy. Probably some time this week he will head to Nashville to have surgery on his hip. Right now we’re probably looking at between 12 and 16 weeks recovery. It’s a tough blow for Jonesy.

“Based on the information that I’ve received, he’s got a lot of problems in there that we just didn’t catch. This is an ongoing thing, but it’s a bad injury for Jones and it’s too bad.

“When you lose two guys you considered in your mix even before you lose a game, it certainly makes you a little nervous, but we will evaluate things as we go along and see if anything pops up. We certainly believe we have good depth. Obviously, it’s not as good as it was a few days ago.”

3:25 p.m.
Flyers head coach John Stevens announced before tonight's game that Steve Downie will be out of the lineup and Jared Ross will make his NHL debut.

Stevens added that he expects Downie to play on Monday when the Flyers host Montreal. The second-year wing was hurt during a preseason game on October 1 against Washington and has been sidelined ever since.

On defense, Stevens will start the night with his top pairing from a year ago, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn playing with different partners. Timonen will be with Ossi Vaananen, while Coburn will man the blue line with Steve Eminger. Rookie Luca Sbisa and Lasse Kukkonen will be the remaining pair.

Tuesday, October 6

3:26 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers continued their West Point excursion on Tuesday afternoon with a little work and a little play.

First, the club had its first practice since Sunday at the home of the Army's hockey team, Tate Rink on the campus of the United States Military Academy. The hour-long skate was followed by a workout at the spectacular gym adjacent to the rink.

In no rush to get back to the hotel for lunch, some of the guys held an impromptu field-goal kicking contest. We're not sure who won, but Scott Hartnell and Scottie Upshall provided a couple of good boots through the uprights.

For a multimedia recap of the day, see below.

Richards on West Point so far: FlyersTV
Flyers workout at Army gym: FlyersTV
Field goal-kicking contest: FlyersTV

For a review of Monday's activities, click here.

Saturday, October 4

8:06 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers have released center Jim Dowd and defenseman Bryan Berard from their pro tryout contracts, said Paul Holmgren on Saturday from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

"At the end of the day, it just comes down to a numbers thing. You're only allowed 50 contracts, and we're right at 49," said the general manager. "It's just one of those things where you don't want to risk getting to 50, because you never know what's going to happen.

"The reason we wanted them in camp is because they are high quality people and very competitive people. Jimmy did a great job for us last year but it just comes down to numbers sometimes. I'm thankful they came into camp, and I thought they added some spark to our camp. Both of them."

Dowd, 39, played in 73 games for the Flyers last season, recording five goals and five assists for 10 points. He added one goal and two assists in 17 playoff games. The 16-year NHL veteran has 71 goals and 168 assists for 239 points in 728 career NHL games.

Berard, drafted first overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, has 76 goals and 247 assists for 323 points in 619 career NHL games. He most recently played with the New York Islanders last season.

Both players become unrestricted free agents.

Thursday, October 2

2:37 p.m.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with the media following today’s skate at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. Holmgren gave the latest injury report, as well as commented on some roster moves that were made this morning.

According to Holmgren, Flyers second-year winger Steve Downie suffered a mild strain of his MCL, but is hopeful for the start of the regular season on October 11. Defenseman Ryan Parent, who has been nursing a shoulder issue, was back on the ice for practice today.

The Flyers also assigned several players to the Phantoms, including rookie Claude Giroux. Giroux will play in the Phantoms’ two preseason games in Norfolk this weekend on Friday and Saturday, said Holmgren.

For Holmgren’s complete media availability courtesy of FlyersTV, click here.

11:32 a.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers have assigned Sean Curry, Claude Giroux, Nate Guenin, Jon Kalinski, Boyd Kane and Jared Ross to their American Hockey League affiiate, the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Wednesday, October 1

9:20 a.m.
The Flyers released goaltender Maxime Ouellet from his pro tryout late yesterday, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.

Tuesday, September 30

2:16 p.m.
Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki, currently out with an injured hip, skated for 30 minutes today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone and said he thinks he is ahead of schedule to return.

Niittymaki had surgery on September 12th on his left hip to drain fluid and clean up some loose bodies that were in his joint.

“I feel good. I wouldn’t say 100 percent, but pretty close,” he said. “We’re definitely ahead of [schedule] right now. It’s only been a little over two weeks and they said four-to-six, so that’s a good thing.”
Antero Niittymaki is recovering from an injured left hip. (Getty Images)

“He looked good,” said John Stevens. “It’s amazing he’s come that far that quickly, but it doesn’t surprise me. It was great to see him on the ice and he actually looked good for the first time in a team setting.”

FlyersTV: Stevens media availability

Niittymaki was scheduled to see the doctors later in the afternoon, he said.

The Flyers also trimmed their roster today, assigning 13 players to the Phantoms and releasing another six players from their tryouts.

One player still with the big club is rookie Claude Giroux, who is fighting to earn a spot on the opening night roster. Giroux was asked after practice how he would feel if he had to start the season on the AHL’s Phantoms roster.

“I would be a little disappointed, for sure, but I think it wouldn’t be bad just to go there and get a lot of ice time and learn,” he said. “The lineup is just unreal here. They have a lot of young, good players. If I want to make the team, I’ve really got to prove myself.”

Stevens was also asked about Giroux’s camp thus far.

“I think Claude has done just okay, to be honest with you. I think he has gotten better as we move through camp. That’s what you want to see in these kids.

“He’s still being evaluated as we move along. Either way, I think he’s going to play some games. Whether he starts here or goes to the Phantoms and comes back, I don’t know. If he does start the year down, it just means we’re deep enough here.”

Stevens added that should Giroux play with the Flyers, it would be as a top nine forward and not as a member of the role-playing fourth line.

“If he’s not ready to crack the top nine, he needs to play more than five minutes a night. That will all factor into the decision.”

Friday, September 26

3:48 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers were back at practice today, with a noon skate at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. Among the major topics was Simon Gagne’s return to game action tomorrow afternoon, as well as the preparations for the first of two farewell games at the Spectrum against the Carolina Hurricanes (1:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

Gagne is set to play on a line with Mike Richards and Danny Briere. John Stevens said it’s likely Gagne will be a bit nervous when the puck drops tomorrow afternoon.
Flyers forward Riley Cote is excited to play in the Spectrum tomorrow afternoon. (Getty Images)

“It’s only natural, but it’s part of the process that he has to go through,” said Stevens. “He has to play and work his way through game situations. I’m anxious to get him in and get his game timing back and get a look at him with his linemates.”

To see Stevens’ complete media availability today courtesy of FlyersTV,
click here.

Stevens also commented on the return to the Spectrum, and how the atmosphere and special activities should make it feel like a game that counts in the standings rather than just another preseason game.

“I think it’s a real game for all of us tomorrow,” he said. “The game has a lot or meaning and a lot of motivation for what’s surrounding that game. There’s going to be a big crowd and I think that’s only going to add to the atmosphere.

“The guys are revved up and if we could dress 30 guys we would because there’s an awful lot of guys who are anxious to play in that game.”

Riley Cote was also asked about getting ready for the final Flyers game at the Spectrum against an NHL opponent (the club plays the AHL’s Phantoms at the Spectrum on October 7).

To see what Cote had to say, click here.

1:06 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have returned defenseman Kevin Marshall to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

Marshall, 19, did not appear in any of the Flyers’ first three preseason games this season. He was drafted by the Flyers in the second round (41st overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Thursday, September 25

7:30 p.m.
Adam Proteau, a columnist for The Hockey News, has predicted that the Flyers will win the Eastern Conference this season. According to Proteau, "look through that lineup and tell me there’s a weakness discernable to the naked eye. I can’t see it."

For the complete article on TSN's website, click here.

Wednesday, September 24

4:14 p.m.
The Flyers announced that they have returned forward Zac Rinaldo, defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon and goaltender Jacob DeSerres to their respective Canadian Hockey League teams, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.

Rinaldo, the Flyers’ sixth round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, was returned to the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. Bourdon, a Flyers’ third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, was returned to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. DeSerres, a Flyers’ third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, was returned to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League.

2:26 p.m.

Flyers forward Simon Gagne is targeting Saturday, September 27 as the date in which he will return to game action when Philadelphia hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at the Wachovia Spectrum at 1:00 p.m. Gagne is with the team this week for its preseason games in Ottawa tonight and London, Ontario tomorrow, but is not scheduled to play.

He spoke with the local media following a skate at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday.

"I would love to play tonight, but I feel I need a little bit more time to practice and get the feeling a little bit," he said.

"It's been awhile [since] I played a game or practiced, and the last time was seven months ago. Having just a couple practices might be a little too early. That's why I'll have an extra five days of practice and by Saturday I think I will be good to go."

Gagne was asked to compare his situation with that of Patrice Bergeron, who, like Gagne, missed most of last season with a concussion. Bergeron played in the Boston Bruins' preseason game on Monday and registered a goal and three assists in an 8-3 win over Montreal.

"First of all, I'm happy for him," said Gagne. "And yes, it helps having someone who went through the same thing and you see he had success right away. Hopefully it will be the same for myself."

The Flyers play the Senators tonight at 7:00 p.m., and face the New York Islanders at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night at the John Labatt Centre.

Saturday, September 20

2:53 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flyers began training camp today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, with two on-ice sessions including a scrimmage. Many eyes were on Simon Gagne, who skated on a line with Mike Richards at center and Danny Briere on the wing. Gagne missed the majority of last season due to a concussion, but felt good following the skate.
Simon Gagne skated with Danny Briere and Mike Richards on Day 1 of training camp. (Getty Images)

"It was fun to be back on the ice with the guys," said Gagne. "I'm very confident that everything is going to be okay. Right now, I'm confident everything is going to be okay but I need to build [confidence]."

Gagne met with the media after practice. To see that video, click here.

John Stevens was encouraged with what he saw from the two-time 40-goal scorer.

"I thought that line was good today," said the head coach. "He's a good player, and I think the first day is a tough day but I thought he did fine."

Also today, Briere, Richards and Martin Biron met with the media and discussed a number of topics including the expectations of this year's squad. To see that video, click here.

The Flyers will be back on the ice Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m. The first preseason game is on Monday at the Wachovia Center against the New Jersey Devils at 7:00 p.m. Philadelphiaflyers.com will be webcasting the game to the local market, as it is not televised.

Friday, September 19

4:58 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers training camp got off to an unofficial start today, as the players all went to Eastern High School in Voorhees, New Jersey, for a two-mile run. The winner was defenseman Braydon Coburn, who clocked in at an impressive time of 11:08. It was a full 41 seconds faster than second place finisher Jared Ross.

Flyers head coach John Stevens was made available to the media later in the afternoon, and discussed the run, new captain Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and the start of on-ice sessions tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

To see Stevens’ media scrum, click here. For the full training camp roster and schedule, click here.

As usual, all Flyers practices at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone are free and open to the public.

Thursday, September 18

2:08 p.m.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren on Thursday afternoon updated the condition of defenseman Derian Hatcher. Holmgren announced that Hatcher will begin the year on injured reserve and not be on the ice when training camp begins on Saturday.

Paul Holmgren: "Derian's injury situation is something that has been talked about quite a bit this summer. He has been seen by our team doctors a number of times. Today, we are announcing that Derian will not be a player for the start of the season. He will be on the injured reserve list. Due to the class and character of Derian, we believe that it is important to continue to let Derian try to make his way back and we will give him as much time as he feels necessary to make a decision, if in fact, a decision is coming in terms of retirement. As of right now he still wants to play. Presently, our doctors don't believe he can. But as I stated, because we are talking about Derian Hatcher and what he has meant to our organization, we feel that allowing him this time to work his way back is the right thing to do. We will see how it goes.
Derian Hatcher will be placed on injured reserve for the start of the 2008-09 season. (Getty Images)

"We've talked a number of times, as recent as this past Wedensday (Sept. 10). We spent a great deal of time with Derian. He wants to play. He knows he is not ready to play right now.  Whether he will or won't play will be seen down the road. In the interim, we are going to see if there is something that he can do to help the coaches or find some niche here to help keep him busy.

"It is basically his knee. It is a situation where surgically speaking they really can't do anything.  It is a question of strength in his knee. I would say there is a ray of hope.  We will see how it goes."

Derian Hatcher
, on being placed on IR: "It is something that has been talked about all summer long so it comes as no surprise. But I guess now that it's official, it is a little bit tougher."

What are your emotions right now?

DH:  "It's tough. Basically, the doctors are saying that for me to try and play isn't fair to my body and it isn't fair to me. They are afraid that I will end up hurting something else like blowing out my hip, or something like that. But, we'll see. I've talked to Paul numerous times this summer and I've talked to him in the past few days. We both agree that I should be placed on IR and see what happens."

How does the knee feel?

DH: "It doesn't feel great. There no question about that. But, like I said, it is one of those things that you just have to wait and see."

Paul said there is a ray of hope. Is there a ray of hope in your eyes?

DH:  "I talked to Paul and we both felt that this was the best thing to do. If I felt that this was the best thing to do at this time, that means I do believe there is a little bit of a ray of hope.  Only time will tell here."

Paul mentioned about the possibility of you sticking around and maybe working with the coaching staff or something else.  What do you think about that?

DH:  "He brought that up to me yesterday kind of out of the blue.  I don't think there is any question about it,  but down the road I would definitely like to stay in hockey.  I think at one point I wasn't sure but now that I have a little bit of time to think about it, I am definitely interested in remaining in hockey.   Paul said that if in fact I did want to stay in hockey, I believe were his words, that he would possibly in some way try to 'show me the way'."

Tuesday, September 16

4:17 p.m.
Several Flyers were out and about on Tuesday, with just days remaining before the beginning of training camp on Saturday, September 20 at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey.

First, Simon Gagne made his return to the ice at the Skate Zone, skating with several lucky members of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Gagne also left time for autographs, including one for eight-year-old Jasmine Martinez of Philadelphia, PA (pictured). Gagne was just the latest Flyers star to meet with the ESYHF, as Riley Cote, Braydon Coburn and general manager Paul Holmgren also made time throughout the summer.

Meanwhile, Gagne’s teammates Mike Richards and Scott Hartnell were busy making a special appearance in the afternoon. Richards and Hartnell personally delievered season tickets to 12-year season ticket holders Darryl and Norah Beckman. Darryl and Norah have a longstanding history with the team and have attended Flyers games since 1968. 

The couple was notified that their tickets would be delivered, but were surprised to say the least when Richards and Hartnell showed up on their front door steps with gifts and tickets.

Finally, congratulations to Scottie Upshall, who finished 52nd out of 518 poker players at a Texas Hold’em tournament at Borgata in Atlantic City. Upshall’s $10,000 entry fee was donated by the casino, with the condition that any of Upshall’s winnings would go to charity.

The Flyers forward finished with $15,000 in prize money, which will be split with Upshall’s charity, the Kids Forever Foundation in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and the Comcast Spectacor Foundation (Flyers Wives Fight for Lives).

Tuesday, September 9

11:38 a.m

The Philadelphia Flyers Alumni on Monday night honored the six 50-goal scorers in franchise history at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Those players include Rick MacLeish, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, Tim Kerr, Mark Recchi and John LeClair.

A golf tournament at the Atlantic City Country Club was followed by a reception, dinner and silent auction to benefit various local charities.

For more information on the Flyers’ Alumni, click here.