25 players from the Philadelphia Flyers Ice Hockey Team of the National Hockey League took over Mt. Pisgah here today for team-building exercises.
Elite Leadership Training, LLC, based in Phoenix, Arizona, which organized and conducted the programs, rented the village-owned facility last month, finding the ski slope, lodge and adjoining ponds very conducive for the various player exercises designed to build team-building skills.
Mayor Clyde Rabideau who was on hand for the day’s program said he was delighted to have the Flyer’s in “The Capital of the Adirondacks,” for their specialized training. “Saranac Lake is honored to extend its great Adirondack hospitality to the Philadelphia Flyers.” Rabideau noted that many of the players and coaching staff said that they would return with their families to explore and enjoy the area further after the coming season is over.
The Flyers are not the first professional sports team from Philadelphia to do pre-season training in Saranac Lake, however, as the Philadelphia Eagles professional football team once made Saranac Lake their summer home and training camp in the early 50’s. The house in which the players stayed during those stays is located at 110 Lake Street and is still known as “The Eagle’s Nest.”
The players were divided into three “cadres” under the command of “Performance Coaches” from the Elite Leadership Training group, all of whom are combat veterans and served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Members of the cadres where instructed to work together and never be alone, even when going to the “latrine.” The groups then went through proprietary team building exercises which cannot be divulged by agreement with the village.
Rabideau, who officially invited the team back next year, commented, “Naturally, being from here, I grew up a fan of “Les Habs,” the Montreal Canadiens, but, I gotta tell ya, after getting to know the Flyers today, I may have to trade-in my “Le bleu blanc et rouge” jersey for Philly black, white and orange….though my heart will still stay with Richard, Beliveau and LaFluer, sorry, but we Frenchmen stay together.”
The Flyers will open the coming regular season at home October 2nd against the Toronto Maple Leafs and then travel to Montreal and play the “Habs” on October 5th.