VOORHEES – It’s not easy to get a read on a new coach after just one day but veterans like Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek saw and heard enough from Alain Vigneault to realize he’s pretty much all business.
The Flyers’ bench boss made his presence felt on the first day of training camp at the Skate Zone on Friday and more than one observer noted this proactive approach might be just what the Flyers need.
Giroux, playing his first season as a new dad, is now working for his sixth head coach and came away from the opening session fairly impressed.
Having seen Vigneault coach Vancouver and the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final (2011, 2014 respectively), Giroux knew that Vigneault is a coach who pays attention to preparation and detail.
“What jumps off at you is they play a team game,’’ Giroux said. “They’re very consistent at what they do. They (the Canucks, Rangers) were successful, so we have a lot of trust in him.
“Everybody’s mindset is pretty good of buying in, and we have to make sure everybody buys in.’’
After three-plus years of former college coach Dave Hakstol and a partial season under Scott Gordon, the Flyers figured it was time to bring in someone with a proven track record.
“Definitely a new voice,’’ Giroux said. “It’s hard to say, it’s early on but just in the meetings we’ve been having, it’s been black and white. You understand what he’s saying. There’s no messing around.’’
Voracek and his teammates watched video before the workout and so they knew it exactly what they were doing when they hit the ice.
“It’s new,’’ Voracek said. “We’re getting used to it. It was a tough day of work. It was an hour and a half of hard-working practice.
“Which is good. We have a couple more before the first game (Monday vs. the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center). We’re going to focus on that.’’
General manager Chuck Fletcher was impressed with the precision of the first practice.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,’’ Fletcher said. “This is the best first day of camp I’ve ever seen. The coaches are incredibly prepared. There’s literally 10 seconds between drills.
“Pucks are moving around. There’s competition. I think it bodes well for us to hopefully play with tempo and for our conditioning. Guys are excited, there’s work to do, but I think we’ll be prepared when the season starts.’’
Vigneault sounded pleased with the first-day effort.
“I really enjoyed it,’’ he said. “I thought the attention to detail was there, the work effort that we had talked about yesterday was there. Overall, we got what we want accomplished today. I was very pleased with how everything worked out.’’
Nolan Patrick did not participate in the first day of camp. He’s sidelined by an upper-body injury. Also, center Tyler Pitlick (acquired from Dallas in an offseason deal) is still out of action as he recovers from wrist surgery,
Fletcher said Patrick skated on his own Friday but that he’s listed as “week to week,’’ which sounds a bit ominous.
“We’ll see how it goes,’’ Fletcher said. “We’ve known about it for a while.’’
Asked if he thinks Patrick will be ready for the start of the regular season (Oct. 4), Fletcher said: “That’s tough to say.’’
>Konecny contract status still up in the air
Restricted free agent Travis Konecny is not in camp because he hasn’t reached agreement on a new contract.
“We still have a ways to go,’’ Fletcher said. “So I really don’t know how to characterize it. It’s been a little quiet lately. We hope to find a solution to break the impasse.’’
The Flyers appear to be pushing for a two- or three-year term while the Konecny people want something longer. There’s a difference on money, too.
Fletcher doesn’t want Konecny missing too much training camp time.
“It doesn’t help,’’ he said of the absence. “It certainly doesn’t help him.’’
Vigneault said: “I’m very disappointed that TK is not here. It’s the start of a new era. I felt it was very important for everybody to be here. My experience in the NHL is anybody who falls behind. . .not coming to camp, it usually takes a little time to get back at it, especially with a new coaching staff.’’
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