The Flyers, uh, Phantoms opened their training camp in Voorhees on Saturday morning before a crowd of close to 200.
Because of the NHL lockout, several players who played some games with the Flyers last season are in the AHL camp because they have two-way contracts. That group included Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson, Eric Wellwood, Harry Zolnierczyk, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Brandon Manning and Ben Holmstrom
“Obviously I'd like to have the (NHL) up and ready to go, but we’ve got to wait for a fair deal here now,” Schenn said after the morning workout. “It's just good to be back out there. It's better than training and skating on your own all the time.”
Added Schenn: “There's stuff you can work on. I think if the season does get going, you'll have a jump or head start on the other guys that are just skating and training back home.”
Schenn and his brother, Luke, will be reunited if the NHL season gets underway. The Flyers acquired Luke Schenn by sending James van Riemsdyk to Toronto in the off-season.
Luke Schenn, a defenseman who led the NHL in hits last season, is training in British Columbia.
“I would have loved to start (NHL training camp) on time and play with him as soon as possible, but that's going to have to wait until a fair deal happens,” Brayden Schenn said. “…The two sides hopefully will continue to negotiate.”
Couturier was asked if he expected there to be an NHL season.
“It’s hard to say. One day it’s good, one day it falls down,” he said of the negotiations. “It’s hard to follow. Hopefully, things get figured out.”
Couturier thinks playing in the AHL will help his game.
“It’s different, (but) I still have to adapt myself,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s my second year of pro hockey, so I want to bring more offense to my game. I know I have the offensive tools to do it, and hopefully I can show it.”
Breakaways. Couturier centered a line withMatt Ford and Tye McGinn, while Schenn was on a unit with Jason Akeson and Garrett Roe.....The Phantoms have three goalies in camp _ 6-7 Niko Hovinen, 6-4 Cal Heeter and 6-2 free-agent signee Scott Munroe. Heeter may start the season with the Trenton Titans, the Flyers' ECHL affiliate.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.