Fans pack Flyers' first practice

(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The crowd was bigger than any of the practices during the Flyers' Stanley Cup run in 2010.

Bigger, in fact, than any that have ever attended one of the team's practices at the Voorhees Skate Zone since it opened in 2000.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Peter Luukko, president of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.

The crowd was estimated at 3,000 (club officials have dropped it down from 4,000), and it was so big that several hundred _ by orders of the fire marshal _ were not allowed into the seating area and had to wait in the lobby. They were permitted into the rink when someone left.

It was the first day of a mini-training camp, and the Flyers' first official practice since the 113-day lockout ended. The season starts Saturday.

"The fans want to see them playing; they don't want to see us on the business page and worry about labor disputes," Luukko said. "I think what it says today is that it's time to move forward; it's time to get playing and move on with the season."

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.