Flyers go up-tempo at Lake Placid practice

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason, right, participates in NHL hockey training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/John DiGiacomo)
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason, right, participates in NHL hockey training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/John DiGiacomo) (AP)
Posted: September 22, 2013

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Who designed the Flyers' training-camp practice session at the Herb Brooks Arena on Friday? Chip Kelly?

Whether they were working on breakaways, two on ones, or scrimmaging, one thing was common: the pace was at breakneck speed.

The Flyers worked out on two rinks, and the pace was especially frenetic when the team was on the bigger Brooks rink.

"You get on that Olympic-sized ice, and you've got to be quick because there's just so much ice to cover," defenseman Braydon Coburn said. "You can basically take our [Wells Fargo Center] rink and put it inside the dots. This rink is huge."

The practice's up-tempo style, Coburn said, will carry into the season.

"Any time you can do things quick like that, it's going to help," he said. "The quicker you do things, the quicker you're able to pressure defenses and really move the pace of the game. I think with the personnel we have in here, that's what we want to do - set the pace every game."

"We all have two weeks until the games start, so these type of practices are needed," winger Jake Voracek said.

The Flyers open the season Oct. 2 against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

Winger Wayne Simmonds missed practice because of the flu, so the Flyers ran just four lines instead of five.

Michael Raffl and Chris VandeVelde, battling for a roster spot, took turns replacing Simmonds on a unit with Vinny Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn.

Claude Giroux, who had finger surgery last month, looked sharp as he centered the top line and had a trimmed-down Scott Hartnell and Voracek as his wingers. Giroux is hopeful of playing in the Flyers' next exhibition game, Tuesday against the visiting Devils.

Coach Peter Laviolette said he is anxious to see how Raffl and Scott Laughton perform in upcoming exhibition games because they will be facing teams composed mostly of NHL players.

"I think we'll get a better read," he said, adding that for "right now," Laughton will play center.

So far, the exhibitions have featured lots of diluted lineups.

Bonding exercises

Laviolette wouldn't disclose any details, but the Flyers will have some off-ice bonding exercises Saturday. They had camouflage T-shirts made for the events, and they say "OPERATION: WARRIOR FORGE" on the front.

The Flyers won't be on the ice again until Sunday, the final day of the camp here.

Read signs

Winger Matt Read, 27, signed a four-year, $14.5 million extension. He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

"We're excited and happy we finally got it done," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "He's one of the young core players on our team."


Coburn, whose wife will deliver the couple's second child in the near future, said he is 100 percent recovered from a separated left shoulder. . . . The league has been mum on which team Washington will face in the 2015 Winter Classic. If the Flyers are in the running, they have not been told, a club source said. . . . Forwards Ben Holmstrom and Kris Newbury, defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon, and goalie Yann Danis cleared waivers and all were sent to the AHL's Phantoms, except for Bourdon, who may go on the injured reserve list. . . . Laviolette will host a show on WPEN-FM (97.5) on varied dates throughout the season. Laviolette will be joined by co-hosts Chris Therien and Jason Myrtetus from Ponzio's in Cherry Hill. The first show is Oct. 1 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact Sam Carchidi at Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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