In the last lockout, back in 2004-05, the Phantoms were still playing at the Spectrum, so local hockey diehards had an outlet to watch games. The Spectrum has since been leveled to make room for painfully loud Xfinity Live!
The Phantoms are now in Glens Falls, N.Y., about a five-hour drive from Philly.
Fans wanting to watch hockey - but not willing to drive to Upstate New York - can head to Hershey or Wilkes-Barre when the Phantoms play there. Or drive to Trenton to watch the Flyers' ECHL affiliate.
Hockey is about to go black in Philly, and around the league, unless Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr - men who seemingly don't have the word compromise in their vocabularies - somehow orchestrate a collective-bargaining agreement before the Oct. 11 openers. (Insert laugh track here.)
But on the positive side . . .
The Phantoms' camp is brimming with talent, thanks in part to nine players who spent time with the Flyers last season: Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Wellwood, Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Harry Zolnierczyk, Brandon Manning and Ben Holmstrom.
This is a strange dynamic, having so many players who stand staunchly behind the union but are allowed to play in the arena where their NHL teammates are banned - unless they rent the ice.
The Flyers-turned-Phantoms are permitted to play for the AHL team because they have two-way contracts.
"I think a lot of guys don't like when they get sent back to the American League, but from talking to guys that got to play last time in the lockout that are [now] full-time NHLers, they said it was the best thing that ever happened to them," Wellwood said. "I take their word and I'm going to try to develop my skills the best I can. I've got to be stronger in the corner. That's one thing I noticed playing the Devils in the playoffs. They have a lot of big forwards and they're good in the corners."
The Phantoms are directed by Terry Murray, a defense-first believer who doesn't emphasize the always-on-the-attack style employed by Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
"Every coach has got their own philosophy and their own ideas in how to get something done, but the end result is you're trying to reach the same goal. You're trying to win," Murray said. "You're trying to develop players who are good players, players who become winners, players who become champions when they play in the National Hockey League."
Laviolette watched some of Saturday's workout from a balcony, high above the ice.
"Peter and I have talked. There are some things that, organizationally, you want to keep in place," Murray said. "You want to have some consistency throughout the organization so the players are ready to get going with the big club, and when they jump on the ice there isn't any hesitancy with their game. They're instinctive."
Murray is hoping his young NHL veterans - guys such as Couturier, Schenn, and Rinaldo - take a leadership role with the Phantoms.
"Take charge, be the first in line on the ice, set the tempo in practice, keep talking about the right way to do things over and over every day," he said. "This is their opportunity to grow in that area."
And take those leadership qualities back to the NHL - provided, of course, Bettman and Fehr ever find a way for both sides to share more than $3 billion in revenue.
Contact Sam Carchidi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.