BY NOW, Luke Schenn has been in Philadelphia long enough to make some connections in town. He can probably get a dinner reservation somewhere or see a Phillies game if he wants to, he said.

But the Bishop of Rome in the city this weekend?

“Not to see the Pope,” Schenn said after practice Thursday. His connections only go so far.

He's already been to the Vatican once, though, while on vacation in Italy a few years back. The Pope wasn't in town then, and Schenn won't get a chance to see him this weekend.

Schenn and his brother, Brayden, who live in the same building in Center City, are two of about 15 Flyers being forced out of the city and to a hotel in New Jersey in order to escape the traffic and security measures in the city.

The Flyers were supposed to have morning skate at Wells Fargo Center before tomorrow's preseason game, like on normal game days, but will now have it in Voorhees. The game time - 6 p.m. - was previously moved back from 7 p.m. in order to alleviate travel concerns after the game with road closures beginning at 10 p.m. for much of the area.

Luke Schenn said the Catholic Church has been a big part of his life for years. He grew up Catholic, attended and graduated from St. Joseph High School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He said mostly all his relatives were Catholic as well.

During the summer, he attends Sunday mass nearly every week. It gets a little tougher to keep that schedule during the season, but he says he does his best.

“I grew up around it,” Schenn said. “Obviously going to (Catholic) school is probably a huge part of it. It’s mandatory.”

“I think it’s obviously a huge part of my every day for sure.”

This summer, he married his longtime girlfriend of eight years, Jeska, in Kelowna, British Columbia.

“I’ve been with my wife now for eight years,” Schenn said. “Her family is very Catholic. Both her parents served in the church.”

Her mother, Schenn said, even helped build part of an outdoor church in Kelowna and leads church groups for abused women and other various groups.

Despite not being able to take part in the festivities, Schenn is quite fond of Pope Francis.

“Obviously this one’s pretty respected,” Schenn said. “He’s bringing a lot of youth, every different race and a mixture of old and young people. He seems to be bringing everyone together.”

Slap shots
After reducing the training camp roster yesterday to 35 players, the Flyers are now at 29. Tim Brent, Chris Conner, Aaron Palushaj, Jason LaBarbera and Davis Drewiske will all be placed on waivers tomorrow and, when cleared Saturday, will report to minor league camp… Defenseman Christian Marti, 22, is out until mid-November after undergoing shoulder surgery… There are 17 forwards, 10 defensemen and two goalies remaining in camp. Both general manager Ron Hextall and coach Dave Hakstol still have plenty of work to do in terms of trimming the roster down… R.J. Umberger skated with Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds in practice today while Matt Read played with Vincent Lecavalier and Sam Gagner.