Wing Konecny try­ing to make up for lost time

Late ar­rival en­dures ‘hard skate’ af­ter agree­ing to long-term deal

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Wayne Fish

VOORHEES, N.J. — Be­ing the last one into train­ing camp al­ways means there’s some catch­ing up to do.

And that’s what Travis Konecny did on Wed­nes­day at the Skate Zone.

The Fly­ers had the day off but Konecny, who agreed to a new six-year, $33-mil­lion con­tract on Mon­day, cer­tainly did not.

He was put through a va­ri­ety of de­mand­ing drills by the coach­ing staff as he at­tempts to make up for lost time.

“Yeah, it was a hard skate,” the 22-year-old right wing ac­knowl­edged. “There were lot more reps [than usual]. But it kind of gives you an op­por­tu­nity to work on the things that the guys have been work­ing on so you can catch up a lit­tle bit.”

When Ivan Provorov inked a $40.5-mil­lion con­tract last Fri­day just be­fore camp opened, it left Konecny as the only player not in the fold. No doubt he was get­ting a lit­tle anx­ious.

“It feels great to be back,” he said. “It’s al­ways hard when your team­mates are here and you’re ex­cited to be around them. Es­pe­cially meet­ing the new coach­ing staff. So it feels great to be back and catch­ing up on things.

“I wasn’t wor­ried that it was go­ing to be ex­tended for a long pe­riod of time. I knew that both sides, [gen­eral man­ager] Chuck [Fletcher] and I, wanted this done as soon as pos­si­ble so that I could get back into the swing of things and kind of go through the same process that ev­ery­one else is go­ing through at camp. I think we did a pretty good job of me miss­ing only the first two days.”

Konecny is one of the quicker play­ers on the team and that should fit well into new coach Alain Vigneault’s up-tempo style.

Konecny wouldn’t ven­ture a guess on when he’d be able to play in a game.

“That’s hard to say,” he said. “I’m kind of go­ing through the process as if I was here at the start of train­ing camp. I’m not go­ing to play un­til it’s the proper time for me to play in an ex­hi­bi­tion game.”

En­ter­ing his fourth sea­son, Konecny is com­ing off back-to-back 24-goal cam­paigns.

That said, he might be bat­tling to crack the top two lines this sea­son.

“Right now I’m more or less wor­ried about get­ting sys­tems down and get­ting into the swing of things,” the Lon­don, On­tario, na­tive said. “It’s about the speed and the tempo of the game.”

Konecny is a plus-11 over his first three sea­sons with the Fly­ers and has missed only one game the past two years.

Trans­ac­tions:The Fly­ers an­nounced on Wed­nes­day they have sent four play­ers back to their ju­nior teams and re­leased four play­ers from their am­a­teur try­outs.

Re­turn­ing to their ju­nior teams were de­fense­men Egor Za­mula (Cal­gary, WHL), Ma­son Mill­man (Sag­i­naw, OHL) and Wy­atte Wylie (Everett, WHL), plus right wing Egor Serdyuk (Vic­to­ri­av­ille, QMJHL).

The play­ers re­leased from their am­a­teur try­outs were: Max Golod (left wing, Erie, OHL), Ben McCart­ney (left wing, Bran­don, WHL), Sean Com­rie (de­fense­man, Kelowna, WHL) and Mike Cyr (left wing, Monc­ton, QMJHL).

The train­ing camp ros­ter is now at 54 play­ers. For more from Wayne Fish, see Fly­ing­Fish­Hockey.com.

ZACK HILL/PHILADEL­PHIA FLY­ERS

Fly­ers winger Travis Konecny, work­ing out Wed­nes­day at the Skate Zone, agreed to a con­tract two days ear­lier and had not been in camp.

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