Philadelphia Flyers Training Camp begins Thursday and general manager Daniel Briere gave the team mostly a clean bill of health.
“Knock on wood. So far, so good,” Briere said at a news conference Tuesday at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees.
“Our vets, it’s exciting, they’re skating, all on the ice it seems,” Briere said. “Couturier and Atkinson, after not having played at all last year, to see them on ice, to see them skating, participating in all the drills, the contact drills, it’s exciting. And hopefully it stays that way.”
Couturier and Atkinson’s return means two quality players inserted into the lineup. And it will add much-needed depth.
“Obviously on the ice it’s a big change,” Briere said. “We’ve put a lot of stress on guys like Noah Cates and Morgan Frost last year. I’m sure it was great for their development, having to face top-six players or centers all year long.
“But at the same time it’s going to be nice to give them a little bit of help and strengthen that position a little bit, let them breathe a little bit. Experience-wise I think it’s going to be great for their growth, as well.
“On the ice, adding those two guys in the locker room is huge. And last year we had a lot of young guys, Noah Cates, Morgan, Owen Tippett, Tyson Foerster coming on at the end of the year. Those guys are going to help.
“The room, Travis Konecny took a big step. Joel Farabee took a big step leadership-wise this summer. It was good to see. But adding guys like Atkinson and Couturier will help a lot on offense.”
Several players are injured. Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis, who hasn’t played since Nov. 13, 2021, will not be on the ice. Ellis’ future is uncertain due to a torn psoas muscle in his back.
Two players were hurt in Rookie Camp. J.R. Avon is out 4-6 weeks with a PCL sprain in his left knee. Matteo Mann, a seventh-round draft pick in June, suffered an upper-body injury.