LW Dan Cleary did not report to the first day of Flyers' camp Thursday and decided to return to Detroit, meaning several rookies are now battling for a roster spot, incluidng Tye McGinn, Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl.
"I'm just keeping the same mindset I had even when he was supposed to be here," said McGin after leaving the ice at the Wells Fargo Center. "I just have to go out in camp and prove myself and show I can earn a spot on this team."
McGinn, 23, played in 18 games for the Flyers last season _ he was used on virtually every line _ and he managed five points (three goals). He suffered a broken right orbital bone in a fight with Toronto's Mike Brown on Feb. 25, underwent surgery and returned to play just two more games.
"It healed up 100 percent and I'm ready to get going," he said, calling last year's stint with the Flyers a "confidence builder."
In addition to the young hopefuls, Max Talbot is a possibility as the third-line left winger.
Cleary had agreed to a tryout contract with the Flyers, but had second thoughts.
The Detroit Free Press reported he was signing a one-year, $1.75 million deal after turning down a three-year $8.25 million offer from the Flyers.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, however, said the Flyers never had that kind of offer on the table for the 34-year-old third-line winger.
Holmgren said he held no grudges toward Cleary.
"Good for him," he said. "He obviously had eight years there and was hoping to continue the ride with them."
Cleary, an unrestricted free agent, had all summer to get a deal done with Detroit. When that didn't happen, he agreed to a tryout contract with the Flyers.
Only he decided not to report to camp, saying he felt too attached to leave Detroit.
"I'm sorry how it all played out. Philly is a great organization," he told reporters. " ... My heart was here."
Detroit had originally offered him a three-year deal for about $6 million, a source said.
Earlier in the week, Holmgren said there was not a preconceived deal and that Cleary had to make the team during camp.
Cleary, a grinder who is adept at winning board battles, had nine goals for Detroit last season. He was one of the Red Wings' top players during the playoffs.
As of late Wednesday, the Flyers had not heard from Cleary and still expected him to be at camp at the Wells Fargo Center.
Cleary will be at the WFC on Jan. 28. With Detroit.
Breakaways.Claude Giroux, coming off finger surgery, felt better than expected and was able to pass the puck gingerly but not shoot it.....Chris Pronger watched the camp sessions and said he still has concussion symptoms....Defensemen Mark Alt (concussion) and Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion symptoms) were not on the ice.....Defenseman Tyler Hoestetter, the pride of Lititz, is among the 62 players in camp. He played for the Trenton Titans last season and had 16 points in 38 games......Inexplicably, the Flyers players do not have numbers on their jerseys, making it difficult for fans to know who is on the ice.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.