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January 26, 2000 - Primeau's ice time, line still uncertain

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Wednesday, January 26
Primeau's ice time, line still uncertain
Associated Press

  PHILADELPHIA -- Keith Jones usually plays right wing on Eric Lindros' line. Skating with new Flyers center Keith Primeau on Tuesday wasn't much different.

"He is a big, fast player with skill," Jones said. "He plays with an edge, too. You can't go wrong with a player like that."

Primeau, acquired Sunday from Carolina for Rod Brind'Amour, worked out for the first time with the Flyers on Tuesday, a day after he skated with Lindros.

Keith Primeau
Keith Primeau, left, skates with Eric Lindros, right, and skating coach David Roy on Monday.

Because of his lengthy holdout, Primeau has only been skating on his own.

"I struggled at the start of practice today but as it went on, I felt more comfortable," Primeau said.

The Flyers practice Wednesday before playing host to Florida on Thursday. Philadelphia will attempt to break a five-game winless streak (0-3-2), the team's longest skid since October.

"I don't know how much I can play," Primeau said. "I'd like to have a good turn on the first shift, see how I feel and then we'll ride it from there for the rest of the game."

Coach Roger Neilson hasn't committed to where he will play Primeau but the logical fit would be in Brind'Amour's former spot on the second line between Mark Recchi and Mikael Renberg.

The Flyers were sorry to see the popular Brind'Amour leave but realize the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Primeau gives the team more size in the middle.

"If you believe you can improve your hockey club, you have to make the deal," said Recchi, who played one game on a line with Primeau for Team Canada at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. "It's unfortunate to have to part with a friend like Rod, but if they feel we're going to be better, then you have to do it."

Neilson said the Flyers will get a lift from the addition of Primeau, 28, and the expected return of Lindros, who has missed four games with a concussion.

"He will give us a lot more offensive options," Neilson said. "He's improved every year he's been in the league, and I don't think he's anywhere near reaching his peak."