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September 12, 2005 - Charity game, auction a big assist for hurricane victims

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Charity game, auction a big assist for hurricane victims

If there is any question about the level of interest in the Flyers this year, consider that the 750 tickets for last night's hurricane charity game sold out in 1 hour.

The tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday and were gone by 10. The Flyers raised $7,500. Additional money was raised through a signed-stick silent auction, but the amount won't be released until today.

"It was fun," said Chris Therien, who was playing with a Flyers' jersey for the first time since returning to the Flyers after signing a free-agent contract this summer. Therien played 10 seasons with the Flyers before being traded to Dallas during the 2003-04 season.

"It was a good cause," said Therien. "What happened down there was devastating. It was great for everybody to see the fans come out and support this and help us do whatever little bit we can to help out."

For the record, Therien's Team Orange defeated Team Black, 5-3.

Also on the winning end of the game was Keith Primeau, who along Sami Kapanen, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards stepped off the ice between periods and signed autographs.

"You know this was a pretty disguised start to training camp," Primeau said. "It was a pretty good tempo. But it was a lot of fun and it was for a good cause."

Now that the Flyers' charity game is behind them, they will officially open training camp today with the obligatory physicals. The real action will get going tomorrow.

The full 53-player roster will be split into groups and will hold intersquad scrimmages. One select group will work alone on special teams. The way coach Ken Hitchcock sees the beginning of the season, this is going to be important, at least until everyone gets used to the new rules.

"I think the key is going to be not to overreact," Hitchcock said. "If we follow the same script as junior hockey, which is out of the gate playing exhibition games 2 weeks ahead of everybody else, then there is going to be a lot of minor penalties and there is going to be a lot of penalty killing."

Training camp is normally a time for a kid out of junior hockey to attract attention and fight for an NHL roster spot.

Not this year.

With the salary cap forcing every team to remake itself, many teams, Flyers included, know exactly who is going to make the team.

"This is the first training camp that I've ever coached where to within a player or two you know who your team is going to be, based on the way this thing formulates because of the cap, Hitchcock said.

"It's a different feeling. You're looking more at chemistry issues. You're looking at who can play together and the prospect of trying out is not what it was."