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April 26, 2006 - Flyers Primeau wont play in series against Sabres

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Flyers’ Primeau won’t play in series against Sabres

By Tim Panaccio

Keith Primeau has a message for Flyers fans: As much as he wants to play, he won't be physically able unless the Flyers go three playoff rounds.

"I woke up this morning with a slight headache still," Primeau said today. "So that's two days since I took a hit in practice. I don't feel well enough to go on the ice. I don't know if it's because of my head or I'm frustrated. It's a minor setback, but not the end of the world."

Earlier, trainer Jim McCrossin said Primeau would not play at all this round because of post-concussion symptoms.

Primeau was visibly upset on two fronts: Some stories in the media portrayed him as being a distraction to the team, and some stories gave false hope he would play tonight or perhaps in Game 4 Friday.

"I understand by me participating in practice there is going to be a perception," he said. "I can accept that. As I explained from the start, what I am trying to do is get myself in position to play.

"There has never been a time frame. It has never come out of my mouth that I playing on this particular day. As far as I know, it's never come out of the mouth of anyone in the organization. If they did, it was an assumption."

Primeau also said it has never been communicated to him that he's become a distraction. Coach Ken Hitchcock admitted on Tuesday that all the speculation concerning him possibly playing in the series had indeed become a distraction.

Primeau isn't certain whether he will continue to work out with the team. He did not skate today.

"I don't know," he said. "Apparently, I have become a distraction. That is not my doing and it's not the organization's. I made it openly clear with them at the start of this that, if any point in time, I become a distraction, I will back away and start skating on my own again. I was assured that wasn't the problem.

"If it's not me and not the team, I guess we know where the blame lies. I have to discuss with them what course of action I take to get my workouts in."

Loose pucks. R.J. Umberger (slight concussion) passed his neuropsychological test yesterday and will reenter the lineup tonight, replacing Ben Eager.