The Flyers received positive medical news Monday: Rookie left winger James van Riemsdyk practiced and had no ill effects from the concussion symptoms that sidelined him for two games, and veteran center Blair Betts' dislocated right shoulder isn't as severe as first feared.
JVR should be able to play in the Flyers' next game, Friday in Florida, while Betts could be ready to return Oct. 22 against Boston.
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After Monday's practice in Voorhees, the Flyers boarded a flight for Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, where they will have a five-day bonding camp that will include practices, a team fishing tournament and team sailboat races.
“Just to get the guys together, have some fun and get some good camaraderie and chemistry,” defenseman Chris Prronger said.
It's a way for the team to blend its veterans with the nine newcomers: Pronger, Ian Laperriere, Ray Emery, Brian Boucher, Blair Betts, Mika Pyorala, van Riemsdyk, Danny Syvret and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.
Laperriere was 20 years old and the St. Louis Blues’ youngest player when coach Mike Keenan held a bonding camp in Florida 15 years ago.
“And now I’m on the other end," he said. Laperriere, who will turn 36 on Jan. 19, is the Flyers’ oldest player
“It’s good for the guys, especially being new to the team like myself, to get a chance to kind of get to know everybody and have some laughs,” said Emery, who, while with Ottawa, said the team stayed at a resort to try to improve its unity. “You spend all year together, so it’s not like you’re unfamiliar with each other, but guys have families and maybe you only see them at the rink, so this is a chance to have a boys’ vacation and mix in hockey as well.”
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The rock band KISS recorded some fire-up-the-crowd videos Monday before the group's show at the Wachovia Center. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer did the video, which will be shown on the scoreboard during Flyers' home games.