Chris Pryor

A pro scout on a layoff from hockey

By Chris Pryor


Whether you’re coming off a lockout or you are a young player that hasn’t played since spring, the question arises on how to or what is the best way to get back into shape after a prolonged layoff.

Obviously there is a considerable difference in levels of play from the NHL and PeeWee/Bantam players, but the same constant holds true, it’s much easier to get into shape if you never get out of shape.

Now to do this doesn’t mean that you need to be on the ice 12 months a year. However, it does mean you need to pay attention to your physical activity and keep active. This could mean running, biking, soccer, tennis, etc. Nothing can replace skating for a hockey player to truly get his “legs,” but if your fitness level is up to standards then getting into “game shape” should not be that difficult.

There are just too many quality facilities and expertise in fitness to not be educated enough on how to keep yourself in shape. There’s no excuse.

Actually, at times it is beneficial to get away from the rink and do other things, not only from a physical standpoint but a mental one, too. For the younger player, this can be done without losing much in the way of fitness and keeping your metal state fresh and rejuvenated, and when you finally do get back on the ice, you’re excited and ready to get back to work.
Chris Pryor is the director of hockey operations for the Philadelphia Flyers. He is in charge of the amateur and pro scouting departments. A native of St. Paul, Pryor spent eight seasons as a scout for the Flyers. He played parts of six seasons in the NHL with the Minnesota North Stars and New York Islanders. If you have a question for a pro hockey scout, e-mail it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..