Familiar Faces Back At Flyers Practice

The Philadelphia Flyers were happy to see a familiar
face back at practice yesterday, left winger Simon Gagne. The 22nd overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft, has played in just
nine games this season as a result having had surgery for a hernia back on
November 3.

It was originally thought that Gagne would miss
six-to-eight weeks more after the surgery, which would mean if the diagnosis
remains the same that Gagne is still at least two more weeks away from
returning to game action. Gagne was originally hurt back in August at Team
Canada’s Olympic camp.

Gagne will just be skating to try to get his legs
back in game shape and will not take part in any one-on-one drills or take any
contact for now. He is scheduled to see his doctor again next Tuesday.

Also back on the ice yesterday was Danny Briere, who
had served a two-game suspension and was eligible to play Saturday at Atlanta,
but missed the game with the flu. Some reports said that Briere missed the game
due to his groin acting up again, but Briere downplayed those reports, he
pointed out that if that was the case he would never have taken part in the
long skate at the end of practice if that were the case.

Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell were not at Monday’s
practice due to “maintenance days,” while key Flyer role players Blair Betts
and Darroll Powe, skated by themselves to keep their conditioning levels up. However, both Powe and Betts are still expected to be out of game action at least another month
with their injuries.

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