As far as how the Flyers as well as their coaches, staff and fans felt upon learning the NHL and players union had reached an agreement to end the lockout, Zac Rinaldo probably said it best:
Its about time!! Rinaldo said in a text to CSNPhilly.com.
Rinaldo and his teammates found out early Sunday morning that, after a nearly 16-hour bargaining session in New York, an end to the 113-day lockout was finally on its way. The NHLPA and league reached a tentative agreement on a 10-year CBA that should be ratified by Tuesday (see story).
Its great news, said Erik Gustafsson, who learned of the agreement via an e-mail sent from the NHLPA. Its what everyone has been waiting for, players, fans, media and all employees.
As a whole, the Flyers are both excited and relieved, according to Danny Briere.
Im excited to see my teammates, he said in a text message, and also to be able to work with all the great people in the Flyers organization.
"I'm very very excited and happy," Max Talbot added in an e-mail. "It will be a fun season! Can't wait to get it going."
Training camps across the league could open as early as Thursday, allowing actual games to begin sometime the following week. And the Flyers couldnt be more pleased to finally kick off the 2012-13 season.
Im happy as pie, Michael Leighton said. Ready to get back playing.
Most of the Flyers who had traveled overseas to join European or Russian teams have returned to the area. Some, however, will have to hustle back. And then, of course, there are the players who sustained injuries abroad or had surgery over the summer.
Briere injured his wrist Dec. 28 playing for Eisbaren Berlin of the DEL, and was expected to miss at least two weeks. Hes back in New Jersey now, is feeling better and hopes to build on the team-high 34 points hed registered in Germany.
Doing good, he said. Should be ready to play soon.
Claude Giroux, who had also spent some time with the Eisbaren, came back to the U.S. after sustaining a neck injury Nov. 17. He returned to the ice in early December, and played in a charity hockey game in Ottawa Dec. 27. The neck, he said, is doing all right.
I feel good, Giroux said.
Defensemen Andreas Lilja and Andrej Meszaros have both been rehabbing off-season surgeries. Lilja (hip) is cleared and ready to play. Meszaros remains on-schedule in his work to recover from a torn Achilles tendon.
E-mail Sarah Baicker at firstname.lastname@example.org