After spending three months on crutches, Talbot bulked up in the summer, gained six pounds to 196, and worked out twice a day. Now he is hoping the sweat translates into positive results on the ice.
"It's exciting to play, whether [Sunday] or Monday," he said. "I can't wait to celebrate a goal or something like that. Something fun. Summer was tough."
Returning to action "is going to be a little tap on the back that you're at this level and feel good [again]," said Talbot, who had five goals in 35 games last season and is hoping to regain the form that produced a career-high 19 goals two years ago.
A versatile player, Talbot can play center or either wing.
During exhibitions, the NHL will experiment with a hybrid icing rule, one in which the linesman can call icing based on which player reaches the offensive-zone faceoff dot first. The rule may go into effect in the regular season.
The NHL hopes the hybrid icing eliminates injury-causing collisions in races for the puck.
"We'll see how it goes. I'm not really sure what to expect from them," Talbot said. "I'm open-minded. I will look at it and see if it works. It's probably better for the defensemen than the forwards."
Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson played with the hybrid icing in the AHL last season. He said that it was sometimes difficult for officials to determine who got to the puck first and that he preferred the old rule.
Breakaways. Winger Matt Read's agent is negotiating with GM Paul Holmgren. Read can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. . . . Steve Mason, Cal Heeter, and Anthony Stolarz are the goalies on the two-game road trip. . . . The Flyers sent defenseman Jared Hauf back to his junior team, and Holmgren said more roster cuts will be made after Tuesday's exhibition against the visiting Rangers.