Rookie left winger Joel Farabee was among a handful of Flyers at their small-group, on-ice workouts Monday in Voorhees, preparing for the restart of the NHL season – whenever that happens.
"Right now, we're just kind of going with the flow and trying to get back in shape," said Farabee, who returned to the area and started skating Thursday. "We have a few guys at the Skate Zone working out every day, so it's good to see that. I know when the season does resume, we'll be ready."
The NHL hasn't announced when it plans to hold its 24-team tournament – it is expected to begin in early August if some safety and testing issues surrounding the coronavirus are resolved -- and it is giving players plenty of time to regain their form.
The season was paused March 12 by the coronavirus outbreak, and players have been allowed in small groups at their training facilities for the last week. That's on a voluntary basis, and most players are continuing to stay close to their families and working out near their homes in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Mandatory training camps will begin July 10. If the NHL and the players association resolve their issues and the coronavirus is deemed under control, the season might resume around Aug. 1 at two still-to-be-named hub cities.
Without fans in the stands.
"I definitely think it will be an experience that is very abnormal, but I think it'll be kind of cool," Farabee said after Monday's workout. "Obviously you have to create your own energy and you have to get up for games, and I think the best team that is able to do that will come out on top. Obviously we want fans there and want to be playing in front of fans, but we want everyone to be healthy and be safe. If that's what we have to do, then we'll go with that."
Restarting the season after such a long layoff, Farabee said, will be challenging.
"Usually you have a whole summer to prepare and have a plan," he said. " ... But we'll be ready."
Assuming the season resumes, the Flyers will compete in a round-robin tournament with Boston, Tampa Bay, and Washington. Each team will play each other once in the mini-tournament, which is for seeding purposes only.