Robert Hagg arrived from Sweden a couple of weeks ago, but he wasn’t on the ice at the Flyers’ training facility in Voorhees until Thursday.
Because of the coronavirus, the 25-year-old defenseman had to be quarantined before being around anyone.
“It [stinks], but it’s something you have to do,” Hagg said after Friday’s workout at the Skate Zone. “I followed all the rules, all the guidelines. I’ve done all the testing, and everything came back negative, so I’m happy to be back on the ice with the boys. It was nice to be back and see everyone and get things going.”
Twelve players have been participating in the voluntary, small-group workouts.
“Hopefully, we get a few more guys coming in and we start practicing a little bit more normal and get back at it,” said Hagg, the Flyers’ most-physical defenseman.
In Sweden, Hagg was able to skate and work out. “I had it pretty good, actually,” he said.
The Flyers haven’t played since March 10, two days before the NHL stopped the season because of the coronavirus outbreak. They are scheduled to play in a round-robin seeding tournament against Boston, Tampa Bay, and Washington when or if the season resumes, probably in early August.
If the NHL and the players’ association can work out some health and safety issues, training camps would start July 10.
The Flyers were the NHL’s hottest team when play was halted, winning nine of their last 10 games.
“We had something going, and hopefully it doesn’t take too long before we get back to where we finished off,” said Hagg, who was paired with Justin Braun during most of the hot streak.
A lot of the Flyers are still working out near their homes in the United States, Canada, and Europe. NHL teams will play one or two exhibition games – the number hasn’t been decided – before play resumes.
“When the guys start coming in and working out, and we start playing one game or two games, I’m pretty sure we’ll find a way,” Hagg said.
Hagg had three goals, 13 points, and a plus-14 rating in 49 games this season. He led the team in hits (136) and was tied for fourth in blocked shots (79).
Center Mikhail “Misha” Vorobyev, who had a strong season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms but struggled when he was recalled by the Flyers, has decided to forego his dream of playing regularly in the NHL.
A Russian website reported that Vorobyev, 23, agreed to a three-year deal to play in Russia’s KHL.
An NHL source confirmed that Vorobyev is headed to the KHL and that the Flyers will retain his rights; he will be placed on the Flyers’ reserve list.
NHL teams are allowed to recall extra players, known as “Black Aces,” as they attempt to restart the season this summer. Vorobyev had been expected to be recalled, but that is not going to happen, a source said.
Phantoms coach Scott Gordon said Vorobyev (12 goals and 28 points in 45 games) was the team’s most-consistent player this season. In three stints with the Flyers, however, Vorobyev had just a goal, two assists, and a minus-5 rating in 20 games.
A fourth-round draft selection in 2015, Vorobyev played in 35 games (two goals, three assists) with the Flyers. His AHL success never translated to the NHL.
A restricted free agent this summer, Vorobyev earned about $2.35 million in his three years in the Flyers’ organization. Before joining the Phantoms, he played parts of two seasons in the KHL.
Wyatt Kalynuk, a mobile defenseman who was an all-Big Ten selection at the University of Wisconsin this season, is testing free agency.
Kalynuk, 23, was selected by the Flyers in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, and he has improved greatly during his three seasons with the Badgers. This season, as the team’s captain, the junior had 28 points, including seven goals, in 36 games.