FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Defenseman Danny Syvret, like a bunch of players on this year's Flyers squad, had never been fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.

He didn't know what to expect. But deep-sea fishing is almost like life at the airport, with a hurry-up-and-wait mentality.

That was the reason for the Flyers' second team-bonding day on the Atlantic Ocean. When the lines were baited and cast, the Flyers - sprinkled in teams on five boats - had plenty of time to talk and catch up while waiting for tugs.

"It was the first time I had ever been out on the ocean before," said Syvret, a Flyers newcomer this year. "I thought I would get a little sick but it wasn't too bad.

"There were some low points when we were fishing when you're not catching anything and you are sitting there. Both days were a blast. We've been together all through training camp and we were a great bunch of guys anyway, but to get some extra time to mingle with the guys in an unusual scenario has been really important."

Syvret teamed up with Claude Giroux, Darroll Powe, Ryan Parent, Brian Boucher and James van Riemsdyk to capture the day's title for most fish caught. Syvret said they went for quantity and not quality as most of the fish were too small to keep.

Syvret's crew navigated off the beaten path, though.

"Our captain took us way out of the area," Syvret said. "It took us almost 40 minutes to get back to the dock. We could see all of the other boats crowded in one vicinity."

In that vicinity was Ian Laperriere, another newcomer who had never been fishing, and his group was trying to swing a big fish onto their boat. But they were unsuccessful.

"We went for the bigger fish," Laperriere said. "We were going for sharks and stuff like that. We went big and didn't get anything."

Assistant coach Craig Berube scooped up yesterday's biggest catch - a 17-pound mackerel.

Coach John Stevens, whose team of assistants won Tuesday's regatta-style sailboat race, has been pleased with the Flyers' effort on the ice. They have practiced every day in Florida.

"I think the guys have taken the right attitude down here," Stevens said. "When they are at the rink, they work really hard. This is a real good opportunity to - establish some relationships."

Laperriere and defenseman Chris Pronger said that the time spent on the water - and in the sun - definitely left time for bonding.

"[Tuesday] was a little more team oriented," Pronger explained. "The fishing today was more about fun."

"When we're at the rink, we usually talk hockey," Laperriere said. "When you're out there, you can talk about where guys are from and family stuff.

Laperriere said: "In 2 weeks, it's going to be crazy. We play every 2 nights for the next 2 months. It's good to take time off when you can. We're lucky enough to be on a hell of a team to take us [here]."

Slap shots

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at http://go.philly.com/frequentflyers.

Rookie James van Riemsdyk said he is "feeling stronger everyday" and should be able to skate in tomorrow night's tilt against the Panthers. He hasn't played in a game since last Tuesday when he suffered a head injury - that the Flyers did not call a concussion - against Washington . . . Van Riemsdyk skated on a new line with Arron Asham and Mika Pyorala. The top line of Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter and Danny Briere has remained intact . . . Blair Betts (dislocated right shoulder), who has been out since Oct. 6, said it is "too early to tell" whether he will be able to play against Boston a week from today.