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A Very Important Camp for Philadelphia

A case can be made for why this year’s rookie camp and training camp are more important than they have been in previous years for the Philadelphia Flyers. It may seem like common sense to many, but there are several key things that go into the significance of this year.

Rookie camp got under way for the Orange and Black this week and a game against the Washington Capitals is scheduled for tomorrow night. Unless your team is participating in a tournament such as the one in Traverse City, rookie camp is fun to get into. But for Flyers fans, it's not usually as exciting. Luckily for a few thousand fans, there is that one Flyers rookie game.

In rookie camp alone there are a few stories to look out for. Obviously two guys everyone will be focused on are Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. The popular opinion is that Schenn is going to get the third line center roster spot for the Flyers, but that does not mean that rookie camp is not important for him, too. He should outshine most of the players at camp, so it’s his time to start turning heads. Couturier is going to be an intriguing story as well. He is also a centerman, but with less experience than Schenn (just being drafted this June). A steal at 8th overall, he definitely has the talent to also turn heads this September. Unfortunately for Couturier, being a center hurts him more than it helps him right now. He is not going to be able to play on the 4th line with his talent, so things could get interesting if he really impresses. Most likely Couturier is going to end up playing another year in juniors because there is just no room for him yet and he is still so young. Yet his personal goal right now is to make the Flyers.     

A lot has also been said about Zac Rinaldo since the start of rookie camp, all of which have been positive. That’s a nice change from the usual talk. For a guy like him, rookie camp is the first step. Any other big stories will begin to unfold once training camp is fully underway.

For guys like Nick Cousins, Derek Mathers, and Marcel Noebels, rookie camp is what matters most now. The Flyers are just starting to build their system back up again. It’s often brought up how dry their depth chart looks due to the fact that they have been known to trade away so many quality draft picks. That changed this past summer, and building for the future is just as important as building for right now.

Training camp, on the other hand, is not just about the prospects. The Flyers have an abundance of new faces coming in. Atop the list are Jaromir Jagr, Ilya Bryzgalov, Wayne Simmonds, Max Talbot, and Jakub Voracek. Bringing in a bunch of new faces is exciting, of course, but does mean that a lot of work is ahead. Not only do the players have to mesh together and develop chemistry, but the new guys have to buy into Peter Laviolette’s demanding system, something which is most likely going to take some time.

Roles are also going to have to be filled. Will Brayden Schenn get that number three center spot? Who is going to get the “C”? Who is going to be able to take over Darroll Powe’s place on the PK? Is there someone that can be counted on as a go to faceoff guy? These are just a few of the questions that fans hope are going to be answered in the coming weeks.