Some Flyers may start year with Phantoms

Sean Couturier could start the season in the minor leagues if there is a lockout. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

  In the event of an NHL lockout, the Flyers may send a handful of their young players to the AHL Phantoms to start the season.

   Players who are exempt from waivers could be sent down, and that list features Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Erik Gustafsson, Eric Wellwood and Zac Rinaldo, according to GM Paul Holmgren.

   The Flyers would have to loan the players to the minors before the expected Sept. 15 lockout.

   The Phantoms will report to camp in Voorhees on Sept. 28, and the first day of on-ice practice will be Sept. 29.

   A handful of Flyers, including goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and center Danny Briere, have been informally working out at the team’s Skate Zone practice facility.

   Bryzgalov said on Friday he is undecided if he will play in Russia if there is a lockout, saying it is a family decision that is complicated by the fact his children have started school.

   In an unrelated matter, a Flyers official confirmed that the Phantoms’ new arena in Allentown, Pa., scheduled to open in 2013-14, probably won’t be ready until the start of the 2014-15 season.

   Pronger update. Defenseman Chris Pronger, who missed most of last season with post-concussion syndrome, is feeling "the same" and is still experiencing headaches, Holmgren said.

   Pronger has been in St. Louis with his family this summer; he will be at the Skate Zone for some physical testing in a couple weeks, but will not skate, Holmgren said.

    Cousins reinstated. Three players from the Soo Greyhounds, including highly regarded Flyers prospect Nick Cousins and Sicklerville’s Mark Petaccio, went through a 10-day behavioral-wellness and can return to the OHL team, GM Kyle Dubas said in a statement.

   Cousins, Petaccio and Andrew Fritsch were charged last month with sexually assaulting a female who was known to them. They have an Oct. 1 court date.

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