The Flyers have gone into full disappearing mode, and the epidemic has spread to the team's leader.
Before the season started, Claude Giroux was slated to be ready to lead the Flyers, getting endorsements from half the veterans on the team. But in the third game of a young but short season, the captain was completely absent from the game, leaving people wondering what happened to Giroux.
In the Flyers 3-0 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday, Giroux's poor play rubbed off on the rest of the team, including two of the Flyers' young, budding forwards Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.
The Buffalo Sabres will open their 2013 campaign against the Philadelphia Flyers, who come to town after a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can the Flyers spoil the Sabres' party like the Penguins did to theirs?
The first five games will be the most important for rookie forward Scott Laughton.
The 18-year-old center made his NHL debut in the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Penguins. For the 12 minutes he was out there, Laughton tried to prove why the Flyers selected him with the 20th pick last year.
Laughton was physical and agressive in his debut.
"I thought he played well," said Flyers alternate captain Scott Hartnell. "He was moving his feet, he was finishing his checks, he’s very sound defensively."
The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.
It has been made official today that Claude Giroux has become the 19th captain in Flyers history. He replaces Chris Pronger, who has not played in 15 months, nor looks like he ever will return to the ice due to post-concussion symptoms.
Hockey will finally resume on January 19, but the talks concerning a certain letter in the alphabet has already begun for the Flyers.
Chris Pronger is nowhere nearing a return to the ice. And with his retirement inevitable - but not official due to his contract - the designated captain slot will remain vacant until the Flyers decide to finally fill the void.
Three names have been on the lips of fans during the 2011-12 season: veterans Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen, and the young leader of the team, Claude Giroux. Only one of those players has remained a hot topic for the captaincy and it's the one who many around the NHL view to be the future of the Flyers and the league.
Sam Carchidi threw up a tweet that shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone. Giroux's best friend and locker room leader Scott Hartnell said that "Giroux is ready to be captain."
For one night, normalcy was restored in the hockey world.
As the "Fire Bettman" and "We want hockey" chants rained down to the Art Dorrington Ice Rink on Saturday evening at the Boardwalk Hall, people got a sense that this lockout just has to end.
For one night, Flyers, Rangers, Devils and even a few Penguins and Islanders fans were united with a select handful of other fans in Atlantic City's historic Boardwalk Hall. They were there for Operation Hat Trick, a charity game featuring 90% of the Atlantic Division's current and former star players, all still active in the NHL.
In all, 10,792 fans showed up, selling out the venue. It was the first sellout for a hockey event in Atlantic City since 1933.