The lockout ends and what might that mean for the Phantoms

2013-01-07T16:36:00Z 2013-01-07T18:19:28Z The lockout ends and what might that mean for the PhantomsBy Diana C. Nearhos Glens Falls Post-Star
January 07, 2013 4:36 pm  • 

When Brayden Schenn went to bed at 2:30 Sunday morning, he knew the NHL and NHLPA were still negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. So, one of the first things he did in the morning was check his phone. 

"It just felt like something was going on," he said. "I checked my phone when I woke up, I don't know why, and checked Twitter." 

Schenn saw tweets from TSN and knew the news was good.

Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo found out similarly - Rinaldo checked the TSN app first thing and Couturier woke up to a few texts.

“It was a pretty good way to wake up this morning,” Couturier said on Sunday. “(The lockout) was frustrating for everyone. It’s not what anyone wanted, but we had to go through it.”

Rinaldo, like many fans, had gotten frustrated with the ups and downs of the negotiations and had largely stopped paying attention until it got close.

“They kept saying it was ending and then it wasn’t, so after the second time of them toying with me I kinda stopped paying attention in general, until it started cracking down for the last little bit there,” he said.

Schenn, Rinaldo and Couturier spent more time with the Flyers than any other Phantoms. Couturier spent the whole season with Philadelphia playing 88 games, including playoffs. Rinaldo and Schenn played 71 and 65 respectively.

“We still haven’t settled on who is going to come in from the Phantoms, other than the obvious guys,” Holmgren said on Monday, according to The Philadelphia Daily News. “There are some guys who played well down there that could perhaps get looks here in a short training camp that we’re going to have. Then, we’ll see.

“Ice time is always up for grabs. That’s a good thing, competition.”

The trio of Schenn, Rinaldo and Couturier figure to be those "obvious guys." Eric Wellwood, Harry Zolnierczyk have also seen NHL time. Wellwood started the season slowly but has come on strong as of late.

Tye McGinn and Rob Bordson have also impressed, playing a very strong first 33 games. They may have played their ways into consideration.

The defensemen could be a little harder to figure. Erik Gustafsson and Marc-Andre Bourdon would have had good shots, especially while the Flyers' defense is injury-laden, but both are injured. Gustafsson has a bone bruise right where the top of his skate hits and has been on-and-off crutches. Bourdon is dealing with concussion symptoms and only returned to the Glens Falls Civic Center on Dec. 2 to get on a bike.

Brandon Manning, who played four games with the Flyers next year, appears to be next in line. Danny Syvret, who has played 59 NHL games over the past seven years, could also be a candidate. Cullen Eddy has played very well through the first 33 games of the AHL season, but his chances likely aren't as good.

Assuming the Flyers call up five to seven Phantoms, Adirondack will undergo a lot of changes. The Phantoms recently added Blake Kessel and Ian Slater to their roster. Shane Harper, Andrew Johnston and Matt Mangene could be expected to return to Glens Falls from Trenton. Luke Pither has also been playing well in the ECHL. 

“It’s about the Flyers,” Holmgren said, according to the Daily News. “I think Terry Murray and his staff down there, they understand that. When I saw Terry after the game, I kind of identified some players that he might lose if this thing gets done. The team that’s probably going to suffer the most is (ECHL) Trenton. There’s some players in Trenton that have been playing, they’ll get shuffled up to Glens Falls and fill some spots.”

The start of Flyers training camp will reunite Schenn with his brother, Luke, for whom the Flyers traded James van Reimsdyk to Toronto. The pair have not played on the same team since Luke was 11 and Bradyen was nine.

"I'm pretty fired about it," Brayden said. "I'm looking forward to it. I've never played on a competitive team with him. It should be good."

Brayden said he doesn't think he'll have to show Luke around Philadelphia much, saying Luke will figure out the good spots to go pretty quickly and had spent part of the summer there.

For now, Brayden, nor any of the other Phantoms, hasn't heard anything from the Flyers so he's still in upstate New York and will keep practicing with the Phantoms until he gets a call.

But they all know the moves are coming, it's just a matter of time.


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