Closure will be difficult for the Flyers. First, it's summer. Nearly every Flyer is on vacation or living far from the team's training complex in Voorhees. Second, Tertyshny's body was to be flown back to Russia to his wife, Paulina, and his mother and brother.
"It's such a weird thing," Chris Therien, one of the few players still in the area, said after returning from John LeClair's charity golf tournament in Vermont. "It's like he went away for the summer and never came back.
"We're not even sure how many players know. We were all calling each other to get the word out."
Tertyshny, a defenseman, was a rookie last season. He spoke little English, had a limited number of off-ice friendships, and hadn't made the impact goaltender Pelle Lindbergh had in 1985 when he won the Vezina Trophy before being killed in a drunken-driving accident the following fall.
The hockey populace never got to know Tertyshny. He never established a strong identity with the club. How could he? This was his first year in the United States, and he was learning on the job.
That's not to say he won't be missed.
"I don't know how you gauge the impact because I've never known a teammate who died," Therien said.
Flyers coach Roger Neilson said Saturday night that he could not begin to assess how his club would react.
"I remember with the Petes, we had a player who died one summer in a water-pump accident," Neilson said, referring to a junior team in Peterborough, Ontario. "His name was Jim Mahon. He was truly outstanding.. . . I know our players had a real tough time dealing with his death."
The difference was, the Petes played in a tiny town where many of the players lived year-round.
"I don't know the impact here," Neilson said. "If there were a funeral in Philadelphia, I am sure all the players would be there. But this whole thing is going on in Moscow, so it's different for them."
There will likely be a considerable impact within the organization, however. Tertyshny could have had many productive years in an NHL uniform, and the Flyers are already thin on defense.
Tertyshny played 62 games last season and had typical rookie highs and lows. He needed to develop strength and add weight to his 176 pounds.
"We felt Tertyshny would be a regular again this season," Clarke said. "Now we go to camp and someone else has to be that player."
Clarke had already envisioned that the Phantoms' Mark Eaton would make the Flyers' roster this fall. He was the highest-rated defenseman on the organizational chart, according to assistant general manager Paul Holmgren.
Entering the summer, the top defensive prospects, in order, were Eaton, Mihail Chernov and Ryan Bast.
Clarke has been trying all summer to figure out what to d with defenseman Luke Richardson, who fell out of favor with Neilson at season's end. Clarke tried to trade Richardson to Montreal without luck.
Tertyshny's death "certainly alters things for Luke," Clarke said. "The last time I looked, Richardson was a regular player for us until the playoffs. We have to see what happens."
Clarke said he wouldn't go after a free-agent veteran because "they're all old." He said he was not inclined to make a trade until he saw what unfolded in training camp.
"We have to develop at least one of our kids right now," Clarke said. "Maybe two."