Briere no longer an all-star snub; Pronger ready

   Flyers center Danny Briere was added to the all-star team Wednesday, replacing Calgary's Jarome Iginla.

   Iginla will miss the game for family reasons.

   Briere, one of the league's top scorers with 24 goals, will be playing in the second All-Star Game in his 13-year career. He was the MVP of the 2007 All-Star Game, scoring a goal and adding four assists in the contest in Dallas.

   Briere said "politics" prevented him from being selected originally, and the best part about being chosen was that he could take his three boys with him to the Jan. 30 game in Raleigh, N.C.

    Claude Giroux, Briere's Haddonfield housemate, is the other Flyer who will play in the All-Star Game.

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    Defenseman Chris Pronger was cleared to play and he will return to the lineup Thursday against visiting Ottawa. Pronger has been sidelined since Dec. 15 with a broken right foot.

    "Things went really good today," said general manager Paul Holmgren, referring to Pronger's medical exam, "and I know he’s felt good the last few days. I think there’s a good chancece he’ll play tomorrow."

    A little while later, Holmgren added: "I think he's ready to go."

    In addition to his defense, Pronger should bolster a power play that slumped without him. The Flyers' PP is just 2 for 25 in the last nine games.

     Matt Walker figures to be sidelined when Pronger returns.

    Pronger has missed the last 13 games, during which the Flyers have put together a 9-4 record.

    Yes, this team has LOTS of defensive depth.

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    Dan Carcillo has been a healthy scratch the last four games. When he does return, coach Peter Laviolette wants him to follow James van Riemsdyk's lead.

    Opportunities will present themselves," Laviolette said. "You can use JVR as an example. He's been back in the lineup, and he's not letting go right now, which is great. It's been a big bonus because he's been a dominant force for us offensively."

    After not scoring a goal in his first 17 games, van Riemsdyk has 10 goals in his last 25 games.

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     Holmgren will be the guest Thursday on an hour-long show hosted by Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, on Sirius XM Radio at 6 p.m.

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    For constant Flyers updates, follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at

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