'Weird' developments for Flyers, Phantoms

Flyers forward Eric Wellwood works out with the Phantoms on Saturday. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff file photo)

On one of the rinks in Voorhees, the Phantoms were going through drills during the third day of their AHL training camp on Monday.

On the other rink, just across the hallway, a handful of Flyers -- Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, Nick Grossmann, Kimmo Timonen and Jody Shelley -- and NHL players Brian Boucher and Justin Williams were having another of their informal workouts.

The latter players are locked out by the NHL and have to rent the ice.

The AHL players, including several Flyers turned Phantoms, are preparing for their exhibition opener and, suddenly, are playing the best brand of hockey in North America.

Ah, welcome to Lockout 2012-13.

Seeing his Flyers teammates on the other side of the building wearing "NHLPA" jerseys "is definitely weird," said Flyer turned Phantom Erik Gustafsson. "I've never been through anything like this. I just wish we could be all together and work out like we usually do. But it is what it is, and I just take it day by day."

The Phantoms will play Albany, the New Jersey Devils' AHL affiliate, on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. It is open to the public and free.

"I'm really excited. I mean, I haven't played a game for about six months, so it'll be a lot of fun," Gustafsson said. "It'll probably be a little rusty out there, but it'll be a lot of fun."

(more to come)