Posted 9:49 AM ET | Comments 0
Flyers training camp opened this morning. Two morning sessions here.
We asked 5 questions for coach John
Stevens coming into today
Q- Looks like there are more ice time issues than spots to be won?
A - We’ve got some new players, frankly, we don’t know much about. There are some opportunities up for grabs on our team for more ice time, more responsibility. We’ve h ad changes with guys like Kappy [Sami Kapanen] and Smitty [Jason Smith] moving on. No [Vinny] Prospal. [Simon] Gagne is back. There are enough changes where you hope a natural progression takes place and someone steps up to that responsibility. These may not be roster spots on the team but opportunities for guys to earn more ice time on the team.
Q - Is there room on this roster for both Steve Downie and Claude Giroux they are young players who need ice time?
A - I’m not sure I can answer that at this point. I wouldn’t go into camp thinking they are competing against each other for the same spot. They are different type of players. They both have right handed shots, both can play center or wing. They both see the ice. Downie has the physical edge. Claude shows how responsible he is with the puck. We have to make a decision if they are both ready to be good players every night in the NHL. Sometimes, you see inconsistencies. But if they are at the level where they can help our team be better right now we have to take a look at it.
Q- You could have added Arron Asham a year ago in free agency. I think he adds some measure of protection for Simon Gagne plus he brings that edge to his game.
A -He fits into the identity of our team. I think he is a guy who can move up and down your lineup as needed. At times last year in New Jersey, he played a lot of minutes. He’s a right-hand shot, a hard-nosed guy. He plays the game hard and turned himself into a pretty good player. He makes our fourth line much better now.
Q - None of us have seen a lot of Ossi Vananen in the past, given he's been in the Western Conference.
A- Everybody I talked to and has seen him. He’s a big guy who plays hard and has decent mobility with puck skills. He has an upbeat personality. He’s a guy who can defend against top lines. we have to see where he fits in. all the early signs are positive. he has mobility for a big guy.
Q - What is a question mark in your mind coming in?
A - Not sure. You see how guys have prepared coming in. I know there are things we have to get better at. I want to see how guys fit on the back end with [Steve] Emminger and Vaananen and [Bryan] Berard coming in. Camp is a good evaluation of players where they fit in. There are certain things we need to work on as opposed to certain things we need to know.