Sights and scenes from Travis Konecny's first day back at Flyers training camp

Sights and scenes from Travis Konecny's first day back at Flyers training camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — Travis Konecny didn't expect to play like Wayne Gretzky.

"If you guys watched it, I didn't look too great out there, bobbling the puck a little bit," he said with a laugh. "But it's just rust, it's going to come back. Just being patient right now and going through all the aches and pains that come with it."

Konecny will be himself again. He missed the Flyers' first three days of training camp but is ready to catch up (see story). He started that goal Tuesday after signing a six-year, $33 million contract Monday.

His teammates love his energy and spirit. He's become a fan favorite and his Stadium Series show solidified that status.

The Konecny vibes were back at the Flyers' practice facility Tuesday. Here are some of the sights and scenes:

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Travis Konecny channels his inner Joel Embiid, wants to 'bring a championship back' to Flyers

Travis Konecny channels his inner Joel Embiid, wants to 'bring a championship back' to Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Joel Embiid would have been proud of Travis Konecny.

The Flyers' 22-year-old dynamo was back in town Tuesday and wanted everyone to know this is where he wanted to be. Despite a little bit of drama swirling around the unknown as he missed the first three days of 2019 training camp, Konecny is now here and will be for the next six years after signing a $33 million contract Monday.

He didn't like being away.

"It was stressful because you want to be back with the guys, getting ready with them," Konecny said.

"You want to be there with them. You want to go through the process — training camp, all the ups and downs, the hard stuff — you want to be there with everybody."

How did he ease the stress?

"I guess it's part of it, it's part of the process, so I just had to trust it," Konecny said. "Thankfully, we're here right now and it wasn't too long and I'm just thankful for that."

The Sixers' 7-foot-2 superstar would approve.

He also would approve of Konecny's desire to be in Philly long term. Konecny and his camp were eyeing a lengthier deal as opposed to a bridge contract in which the winger could have proven himself even more and potentially landed a bigger payday around the age of 24 or 25. Konecny wanted more years in Philadelphia. 

You guys have all been around here and you know what the team is all about. Our goal is to bring a championship back and I want to be a part of that, I want to be a part of Philly. To be locked in for six years and have a chance to play with this organization is an honor and I'm just really happy we could get it done.

Konecny took part in his first practice Tuesday. The team plays preseason games Tuesday and Thursday night. Head coach Alain Vigneault said the Flyers are shooting for Konecny to make his preseason debut Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

"He's going to skate [Wednesday] with our skills coach," Vigneault said. "He's got video sessions planned as far as catching up to what he's missed. That will permit him to practice on Thursday, practice on Friday and in theory it should be the same amount of time."

Vigneault and the Flyers were excited to see Konecny. The 2015 first-round pick has the potential to be a 30-goal guy. His role will continue to grow in his fourth NHL season and his presence bolsters the Flyers' depth at forward. The team's third line could feature Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick (when healthy) and possibly a prospect like Joel Farabee. The 23-year-old Lindblom scored 17 goals last season as a rookie, the 20-year-old Patrick was the 2017 second overall pick and the 19-year-old Farabee has many buzzing.

"Happy to see him, he's happy to be here," Vigneault said of Konecny's return. "In talking to him briefly, I know he wanted to be here, just an issue sometimes. But he's here, we're happy to have him. Now let's get to work and get caught up here."

Konecny undoubtedly makes the Flyers deeper and more dangerous for Oct. 4 in Prague, Czech Republic.

"I'll be ready," he said. "I didn't miss too much time, I did a lot of work on my own when I wasn't here. I think we've got a great group here that's going to pick everybody up. They're helping me a lot and just going to make sure we're ready for when the puck drops."

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Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

Nolan Patrick? Present! Travis Konecny's situation, shot to Carter Hart, more from Flyers training camp

VOORHEES, N.J. — Let the games begin.

The Flyers on Sunday finished up their third consecutive practice of training camp leading into Monday night's preseason opener against the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP).

During the first two days of camp, head coach Alain Vigneault really pushed the tempo. The team studies the drills before hitting the ice, so when one drill finishes, the next begins at a bang-bang pace. On Day 3, Vigneault pulled back the reins because the Flyers begin a stretch of four exhibition games in six days.

Vigneault and the team's training staff study the data.

"I do the pace, I do the practice, but I also use the science," Vigneault said. "Our guys right now, as we're practicing, are monitored by our strength coach and I know the different loads that we're attaining. 

"The first two days, the loads were very high, more than a game's worth. Today, I tapered down a little bit, I shortened practice up a little bit. Because these guys are playing [Monday], I want them to have energy. I follow the science. 

"I was fortunate enough that I when I went to New York, we had sort of the same basis. I got here and they had the same formula for loads, lengths and intensity of practice. I'm able to use that and monitor that real well."

Let's get into five observations:

1. Patrick? Present!

Nolan Patrick missed the first three days of training camp with an upper-body injury. He's considered week to week but it's uncertain when he'll return to practice or if he'll be ready for the regular season.

Patrick, however, has been skating and getting in work before the Flyers take the ice, which the 20-year-old center did again Sunday morning.

It's never good to miss the beginning of camp or preseason, especially when there's a new head coach implementing systematic changes and competition is ripe for spots.

But Vigneault said Patrick has been very involved, essentially doing everything he can without actually practicing.

"It's unfortunate, but at the same time, he's in all the meetings, he's doing extra on the ice with our skill coach," Vigneault said. "Hopefully this upper-body injury will leave and he'll be back with us. But I think the fact that he's here and he's capable to see the video that we're showing and he knows all the drills that we're doing, he is behind, but he is not as far behind as someone that's not physically here at this time."

Another message to Travis Konecny?

2. Lineup stuff

Here's how the Flyers' forwards will look Monday night:

James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek 
Isaac Ratcliffe-Morgan Frost-Joel Farabee 
Oskar Lindblom-German Rubtsov-Chris Stewart 
Kyle Criscuolo-Mikhail Vorobyev-Maksim Sushko

The Flyers' top line could be the second unit in the season opener. It has size mixed with skill and playmaking. Hayes (6-5/216) and van Riemsdyk (6-3/212) were with each throughout the first three days of camp, while Voracek (6-2/217) joined them Sunday.

"You've got three guys with great puck protection skills, three guys that have got some good speed," Vigneault said. "Some might say that JVR is not the quickest, I would say to you he skates a lot better than people think.

"Once they're in the offensive zone and they have the puck, it's going to be tough for the other team to get it back. I'm really anxious to see how those three are going to do together."

The Flyers' three top prospects are also back together. The trio was impressive during rookie camp and the prospects game.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Braun, Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin are the notable defensemen suiting up Monday. Brian Elliott will start the game in net and be relieved by Alex Lyon.

3. Giroux-Couturier-Farabee

Vigneault doesn't expect to play Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier in Tuesday's second preseason game, either.

So what will happen with the Giroux-Couturier-Farabee dream line that has had everyone abuzz?

"There's a definite strong possibility after [Tuesday], we will see that young man with those two players," Vigneault said. "They had a real good first couple of days. We decided with management that this is the group we want to go with [Monday]. Then they'll watch the game and probably make other decisions for the next day."

It's good to hear those three will likely get a game together. They were that good during the first two days of camp and the Flyers need to get the best read they can on Farabee during the exhibition slate. Playing him with talent will help.

4. The Konecny situation

The Konecny hiatus will now linger into the preseason schedule. And even if Konecny and the Flyers agree to a contract sometime this week, it would be difficult to throw him into a preseason game with little to no practice. 

Which means the 22-year-old could very well miss more than half the preseason given the Flyers play four of their seven exhibition games this upcoming week.

Hard to believe.

With the unknown surrounding Patrick and Konecny, those are two first-round picks, two young forwards that can legitimately make or break the team's depth in 2019-20.

The Flyers, prone to slow starts in years past, are already facing some challenges.

5. That's nuts

Moments after a drill, Carter Hart went down on one knee and was shaken up.

The beloved 21-year-old goalie didn't miss any drills and was able to finish practice.

Phew.

Everything fine?

"I got it right in the nuts," Hart said. "It didn't feel very good."

Ouch.

"I thought maybe they crawled up into my stomach after that," he said.

At least he's OK.

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