Jake Voracek and Andrej Meszaros, two of the five Flyers who played in the Olympics, returned to the team’s Voorhees practice facility Friday and said they had an amazing experience in Sochi, Russia.
Both said they hope the NHL sends its players to South Korea for the 2018 Olympics. The NHL has been dropping hints it may not participate.
“It doesn't matter if it's your first Olympics or the fifth. I think for the players, they should be allowed to play,” said Meszaros, who played for Team Slovakia. “I know there's issues with the injuries, but it can happen over here, too. You can't control that if it happens. I think every athlete should experience the Olympics, whether it's hockey or whatever sport.”
Voracek - who, like Meszaros, did not participate in the Flyers’ practice Friday - also said NHL players should go to South Korea.
“Once every four years, I don’t think it’s gonna hurt to go to the Olympics,” Voracek said. “For every player in the NHL, I think it’s a great experience. To represent your country in the Olympics, it’s what every athlete dreams of since he’s growing up.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube is also pro-Olympics, calling it "great for the sport."
Ed Snider, chairman of the Flyers parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, strongly opposes NHL players competing in the Olympics.
Two other Flyers Olympians, Michael Raffl (Austria) and Mark Streit (Switzerland), will join Voracek and Meszaros at Sunday’s practice. Kimmo Timonen (Finland) is still in Sochi, getting ready for Saturday’s bronze-medal game against Team USA.
Phantoms in town. The Phantoms will play Bridgeport at the WFC Saturday at 7:30 p.m. They will have a morning skate in Voorhees.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.