Flyers Notes

DENVER - Star center Claude Giroux skated with the Flyers for the second straight day in Denver on Monday and continued to make strides in his recovery from a Dec. 10 concussion.

Giroux skated for 90 minutes - about an hour longer than the regulars - and said he felt good.

"It's a process. You want to test yourself a little bit more every day," Giroux said, adding he has to push it "a little harder to get back in shape. But it was a good test today and it felt pretty good. If there are no symptoms, I don't see why you can't push yourself. I had a good skate with the boys today."

Giroux, who is tied with Toronto's Phil Kessel for the NHL scoring lead with 39 points, has missed the last three games.

"I told myself when I go back on the ice, I'm going to skate hard. I have a habit to go hard, and that's what I'm trying to do," he said.

The 23-year-old center was asked if there was any chance he could play Wednesday in Dallas.

"I don't think about that kind of stuff right now," he said. "I go day by day, and it's two more days for that game. If I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go. If it's the Rangers [Friday], good. If it's after Christmas, I don't see why to push it. It's December."

Is he concerned about coming back too soon?

"Obviously I'm aware of what could happen if I come back too fast. My reactions could be slow," he said.

"I'm aware of that kind of stuff. I think the coaching staff and Jimmy [McCrossin, the trainer] are doing a good job of making sure I don't rush into it."

Carle wants to stay. Defenseman Matt Carle can become an unrestricted free agent in July and knows it could be a great opportunity for him.

But all things considered, he'd rather stay in Philadelphia. Neither the Flyers nor Carle's agent will talk about negotiations.

That said, the Flyers have nothing but praise for Carle, whose value has increased because of Chris Pronger's uncertain future.

"He's just a very steady, quiet, effective player for us," coach Peter Laviolette said before Monday's game in Colorado.

"Recently, he's been one of our top minutes guys. He defends other teams' top players. He adds offensively, he plays all-situations and he's a great kid in the locker room.

"Quietly, he's one of our leaders on the back end."

Carle, who is earning $3.8 million ($3.4 million cap hit) this season, said he hopes something is worked out before the end of the season, "but at the same time, as a hockey player . . . it's very rare you have a say to where you want to play. From the time you're 18 and drafted, the owners and GMs kind of dictate where you're going to play and where you'll be, so it's a very rare opportunity to have that.

"But like I said, if I had a choice, I hope something works out between myself and the Flyers before the draft."

Breakaways. Defenseman Erik Gustafsson skated and said his surgically repaired wrist is improving but still bothering him when he shoots or passes. He said he didn't think he could play until after Christmas. . . . Defenseman Matt Walker played for the first time since Oct. 26, replacing Kevin Marshall. . . . Tom Sestito made his Flyers debut, and Ben Holmstrom centered Harry Zolnierczyk and Zac Rinaldo. Holmstrom, who is from Colorado Springs, had 12 family members at the game. . . . Former Flyer Mike Knuble, now with Washington, will become the 20th American to play in 1,000 NHL games Tuesday.

- Sam Carchidi