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“It was fun, it was great to be doing the practices and being with my (Bruins) teammates,” Chara, a defenseman, said. “At the same time, it wasn’t organized hockey under some kind of a system and schedule. That’s why I choose to go to Europe and play over here.”

Well, he can pack his sticks and catch a plane. That practice ice time price is about to get slashed to “free.”

Flyers forward Jody Shelley said teammate Scott Hartnell gave him the good news the lockout was about over via a text at 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Shelley expected more of his teammates to trickle in this week to the Flyers‘ New Jersey training facility.

“We can get back as a group, get back as a team,” he said. “We’re the Philadelphia Flyers. That’s what we want to be, all of us. We left there last May and we couldn’t wait to get back in September and get at it.

Four months later, it’s time to play. Finally.

Game on.

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AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

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Follow Dan Gelston at http://www.twitter.com/APGelston