Nolan is back. Well, kind of.
Philadelphia Flyers rookie forward Nolan Patrick practiced with the team on Monday, as planned, and is going to make the trip out west to Minnesota and Winnipeg. It was his first practice with the team in quite some time.
“It was fun to get back out there and be a part of the team again. It was a pretty short skate, but it felt good,” he said.
Patrick skated as an extra on the fourth line in a yellow jersey during practice, but also got into some drills as well. He may not return tomorrow night, with Thursday being a more realistic goal.
Patrick never suffered any setbacks in his recovery, and his progress has slowly but surely gotten him to this point. “He’s on the front end of conditioning, timing, there’s a lot of things that have to come back to game level and that’s no different than any player and certainly for a younger player,” Dave Hakstol said. “He’s going to work hard at that and he has been working hard at that.”
The rookie is excited to travel with the team again, especially for Thursday night’s game. The Flyers will be in Winnipeg, which is Patrick’s hometown.
“Hopefully I’ll be ready to go, it will be pretty cool to play in my hometown,” he said. Patrick wasn’t around for the original Winnipeg franchise, obviously, but remembers exactly where he was when he found out the Jets were returning.
“I remember I was in home-economics class sewing, that’s when I found out they got the team back,” he said. “It was pretty cool for Winnipeg and everyone around the city was pretty fired up for that.”
Patrick is looking forward to rejoining his teammates on the ice, and getting to be a key part of the team again. “The worst thing about being injured is not being around the guys, not playing. Obviously it sucks but being frustrated about it isn’t going to help you heal any faster.”
Patrick confirmed that he’ll be traveling with the team, which is a great sign. He might not play on Tuesday night, but getting a chance to travel and skate with the team is huge. A return on Thursday night in Winnipeg would be picture-perfect for the rookie.
The Flyers will start their two-game road trip on Tuesday night in Minnesota at 8:00 p.m.
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