By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Most expect the Flyers to name Claude Giroux the team’s captain on Thursday night, as the Flyers have an open practice for fans at the Wells Fargo Center. Danny Briere says whether Giroux is captain or not, he’s the leader of the team.

“[Giroux has] matured so much as a hockey player and as a person,” Briere said in an interview with 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on Tuesday. “I think it’s no secret everybody knows that it’s now his team, and the management will decide if it’s the right time to give him the “C” or not after the past experiences with the last captains that we’ve had, but there’s no doubt that, like I said, it’s his team. He’s our leader offensively on the ice, and off the ice he’s not afraid to speak his mind as well. Claude has taken a huge step in the past couple of years.”

The shortened season will affect every team, but Briere says it could be a benefit to the Flyers.

“We are the team that has the most amount of players playing during this lockout,” he said. “I really believe that’s a big plus for us. Rather than have guys sitting at home waiting, who haven’t played since last April or May, to have guys already in hockey shape—and that’s the toughest part, getting the timing right, getting what we call the hockey shape, it’s tough to find. I’m hoping it will be a big advantage for us.”

Though Briere likely won’t be ready for the season opener, the outlook for his return from injury isn’t bleak.

“Well after going on the ice today, I think it would be tough for the first two games to play,” he said. “They’re coming fast obviously, but I really don’t believe it’s going to be too, too far out. Yes, we found a hair-line fracture and sometimes people think this is bad, but it’s almost better than having some ligament damage or tendon damage, so once the bone can heal properly then after that I guess I should be able to go, and no restrictions. It’s only been two weeks, and that’s the scary part. It’s only been two weeks and I’m already back on the ice. I feel, not great, but I feel decent and I am able to move the wrist a little bit more everyday. I am really encouraged by the difference in the way I feel everyday with my wrist.”

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