A handful of Flyers will return to the Skate Zone in Voorhees for small-group sessions on Monday, but a majority will remain in their hometowns and continue their workouts until the start of training camp gets closer, assistant general manager Brent Flahr said Friday.
The NHL on Thursday said players could return to team facilities Monday on a voluntary basis, and that no more than six at a time would be permitted on the ice.
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The regular season was suspended – and eventually declared finished – on March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Training camps will be held no earlier than July 10, and the season is expected to resume in early August with a 24-team tournament. After a best-of-five, play-in round, 16 teams will compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The entire tournament could take 68 days, and it will finish in October.
The Flyers, who have remained in the area during the season’s (long) pause, are expected to be at the small-group workouts, during which hitting is not permitted. That group figures to include Shayne Gostisbehere, Sean Couturier, Ivan Provorov, and Samuel Morin.
In November, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Morin underwent surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the second time in 18 months the defenseman had the operation. He is expected to be ready for next season’s training camp, but not the one in July.
Morin, a first-round selection (11th overall) in 2013, turns 25 next month. He has played just nine games in his injury-plagued NHL career.
No coaches are allowed on the ice during the small-group sessions, and players must wear face masks when entering or leaving arenas. They do not have to wear them on the ice or while exercising off the ice.
Provided testing capacity permits it, players will be tested at least twice a week for the coronavirus, the NHL said. The players’ temperatures will be checked daily.
Fans are not allowed in the building to watch on-ice workouts.
Flahr said the Flyers’ Skate Zone facility meets all the NHL health protocols necessary for players to practice at the arena.
Many of the Flyers are back home in Canada and Europe and will have to go through a quarantine period when they return.
"Some guys have access to do workout programs and have ice in their own hometowns, and it’s probably easier for them to remain there,” Flahr said. “There are some guys who don’t have access to facilities and will probably plan on coming, But I think at the start, it’ll be mostly guys who stayed local who will be here.”
Nolan Patrick, 21, who has missed the entire season because of a migraine disorder, has been working out in Manitoba. Flahr said the center was “feeling better” but didn’t believe he would be back in the area until it was closer to training camp.
“I know he’s skating and training," Flahr said.