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October 13, 2004 - Flyers locked out of opener

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Flyers locked out of opener
By WAYNE FISH
phillyBurbs.com

MEDFORD, N.J. - The Flyers were scheduled to begin their 38th season tonight, but, as anyone who follows hockey knows, the show will not go on.

Fans in both the Philadelphia and Tampa Bay areas were looking forward to an Eastern Conference finals rematch between the Flyers and last year's eventual Stanley Cup champion down in Florida.

But that game, and a dozen more on the Flyers' schedule, already have fallen victim to an NHL owner-imposed lockout, with no end in sight.

Thus the Flyers have scattered like dandelion seeds in the wind, some playing in Europe, others in Canada, a handful getting together for informal workouts in New Jersey.

Sami Kapanen faced a quandary common to many players.

The veteran right wing could have gone home to play in his native Finland. But he didn't want to deal with the prospect of taking his four kids home and then pulling them out of school if a settlement happened to be reached at midseason.

So he stayed at his South Jersey home, works out with a group of teammates at a local rink and hopes for the best.

"I think all you can do is stay even-keeled,'' Kapanen said after a workout. "Don't get emotionally too low. There are going to be some days when things are going bad. You have to stay positive and keep working out.

"I'm trying to make something good out of this. For me, it's staying home and having a little more time with the kids. Obviously, I would like to have a job and be playing hockey right now, but that's not the case, so you have to find a way to get through it.''

WHERE ARE THE FLYERS NOW?

Tony Amonte RW Returned to South Jersey home after World Cup, training on his own.

Donald Brashear LW Playing for team in makeshift Quebec League that features contrived fighting.

Sean Burke G Still recovering from offseason hip surgery, no plans to play during lockout.

Eric Desjardins D Returned to Quebec, where his son gets to go to French-speaking school.

Robert Esche G Putting together a charity hockey tournament in hometown Whitesboro, N.Y.

Todd Fedoruk LW Working out with a group of Flyers at suburban ice rink in South Jersey.

Simon Gagne LW Scheduled to play in La Caravane McDonald's 4-on-4 series that is touring Quebec.

Michal Handzus C Recovering from a torn bicep muscle suffered while playing for Slovakia in World Cup.

Kim Johnsson D Playing for Ambripiotta of the Swiss League.

Sami Kapanen RW Could have played in Finland, instead working out with teammates in South Jersey.

Mike Knuble RW Offseason free-agent signee playing for Linkoping of Swedish Elite League.

Claude Lapointe C Still on suspension by NHL for violation of substance abuse policy.

John LeClair LW Skating with Flyers in South Jersey.

Danny Markov D Not listed for any planned organized hockey.

Joni Pitkanen D Playing for the Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate, rather than competing at home in Finland.

Keith Primeau C Organizing the handful of players who skate twice a week at South Jersey suburban rink.

Branko Radivojevic RW Playing for Vsetin of the Czech League.

Marcus Ragnarsson D Just joined the South Jersey workout group this week.

Jeremy Roenick C Recovering from post-concussion symptoms sustained in Eastern Conference finals.

Dennis Seidenberg D After a strong World Cup for Germany, now key defenseman on Phantoms.

Patrick Sharp C Ex-University of Vermont star now top pivotman on Phantoms.

Radovan Somik RW Linemate of Radivojevic on Vsetin squad.

Turner Stevenson RW Returned to his home in the state of Washington; not committed to any organized hockey.

Mattias Timander D Committed to playing full season for MoDo of Swedish Elite League.

Ken Hitchcock Coach Helping the Corpus Christi Rayz of the Central Hockey League during training camp.