Flyers' Laviolette back where he belongs _ at rink
With no new major players added, familiarity with each other and Laviolette's system that took them to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals could spark a fast start.
"While we fell short of winning a Stanley Cup, there's been some success with these guys in the regular season and some playoff successes over the last few years," Laviolette said. "I think guys are comfortable with what we're doing here."
Laviolette said a few days should be enough to get his team ready for the opener. After all, Olympic teams and various other world championship-level tournaments also have little time to jell. Laviolette, who signed a two-year contract extension in the offseason, had only one practice to ready the Flyers after he took over in December 2009.
"I think camp is more than enough time to get everything on the table," he said.
Laviolette has compiled a 122-73-26 record since taking over for John Stevens. The Flyers won 47 games and totaled 103 points last season, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference. They beat Pittsburgh in six games before they were knocked out by the New Jersey Devils in five.
"One thing we can pull from last year," Laviolette said, "is that we have a lot of returning players who know the system and are comfortable here in the locker room."
All that said, he'll open camp with a few issues:
— Briere, who had 16 goals and 49 points last season, has a sprained left wrist from his stint in Germany. Holmgren called the injury "a little bit of a concern." Holmgren added, "Missing a little bit of time isn't that big of a deal."
— Defenseman Andrej Meszaros is still recovering from a torn right Achilles' tendon. Holmgren said Monday night that Meszaros had been cleared for full activity.
— Defenseman and team captain Chris Pronger will attend training camp, but will not participate because of lingering symptoms from concussions that have likely ended his career. "He is not cleared to perform or play hockey," Pronger's agent, Pat Morris, wrote in an email. With Pronger sidelined, the Flyers need a new captain. Giroux appears next in line to wear the "C." ''It's just another thing to add to the list," Holmgren said.
— Will the Flyers make a major move before the start of the season? "With our team, highly unlikely," Holmgren said.
Follow Dan Gelston on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/APGelston