Flyers

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers announce 31-man roster for 24-team tournament, fly to Toronto with sweet shirts

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers announce 31-man roster for 24-team tournament, fly to Toronto with sweet shirts

In style on Sunday (see below), the Flyers departed for the Eastern Conference's hub city Toronto as the club gets set to begin its run at the 2020 Stanley Cup.

For the first time in 140 days, the Flyers will be back in game action this week leading up to the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament. The Flyers face the Penguins Tuesday in an exhibition game (4 p.m. ET/NBCSP+) before opening round-robin play next Sunday against the Bruins (3 p.m. ET/NBC10) (see Flyers' schedule).

The Flyers will have the max of 31 players in Toronto. Remarkably and inspirationally, Oskar Lindblom is one of the club's 17 forwards just about seven and a half months after he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma (more on Lindblom's status here).

A few other notables with the Flyers' roster:

• Exciting prospect Egor Zamula is one of the Flyers' 10 defensemen. The 20-year-old has turned himself into what many consider a top-50 NHL prospect (see story).

The Flyers' front office and coaching staff think highly of Zamula and his potential.

"Certainly his talent would allow him to play in my opinion," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said at the start of training camp on July 13. "He’s a very talented young man. Having said that, we are certainly cognizant of the fact that he is coming off of a tough surgery and he’s 20 years old. I think we felt that it would be good for him long term to come back and to participate and skate with our group. Over the next two weeks, the coaches will have to make that decision whether he would be a factor for Phase 4. Make no mistake about it, this kid is a top prospect and is going to have a very good career for us."

• German Rubtsov, Carsen Twarynski, Tyler Wotherspoon and Nate Prosser were in training camp but did not make the 31-man roster.

Forwards (17)

Andy Andreoff, No. 10
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, No. 62    
Connor Bunnaman, No. 82     
Sean Couturier, No. 14
Joel Farabee, No. 49
Morgan Frost, No. 48
Claude Giroux, No. 28
Derek Grant, No. 38
Kevin Hayes, No. 13
Travis Konecny, No. 11
Scott Laughton, No. 21
Oskar Lindblom, No. 23
Tyler Pitlick, No. 18
Michael Raffl, No. 12
Nate Thompson, No. 44
James van Riemsdyk, No. 25  
Jakub Voracek, No. 93   

Defensemen (10)

Justin Braun, No. 61
Mark Friedman, No. 59    
Shayne Gostisbehere, No. 53
Robert Hagg, No. 8
Philippe Myers, No. 5
Matt Niskanen, No. 15
Ivan Provorov, No. 9
Travis Sanheim, No. 6
Andy Welinski, No. 3
Egor Zamula, No. 54

Goalies (four)

Brian Elliott, No. 37
Carter Hart, No. 79
Alex Lyon, No. 34
Kirill Ustimenko, No. 67

Some Flyers players had the attention of fans as they boarded for Toronto. Many of them wore shirts designed by Violent Gentlemen Hockey Club.

All pictures by Flyers senior director of communications Zack Hill:







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Flyers Talk podcast: Is this team convincing us in round robin of NHL playoffs?

Flyers Talk podcast: Is this team convincing us in round robin of NHL playoffs?

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra and Jordan Hall discuss the team's climb in the round robin.

From the Flyers' best line to what's ahead, let's dive in:

1:00 — Exciting times for Flyers fans

5:55 — Who has been the most impressive on the second line?

11:55 — Something we've noticed with the Flyers' first-line production

16:05 — Has this two-game stretch convinced us if we weren’t convinced already?

22:10 — What did we think of James van Riemsdyk being scratched? Big deal or no?

27:50 — Speaking of lineups, would we keep the same D pairs vs. the Lightning?

 33:00 — What we like and dislike about the Lightning matchup

 40:00 — The matchup could do a ton for Carter Hart's confidence

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Jakub Voracek out, James van Riemsdyk back and more changes as Flyers aim to win round robin

Jakub Voracek out, James van Riemsdyk back and more changes as Flyers aim to win round robin

With the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed up for grabs Saturday, the Flyers' No. 1 line will look differently and the reason for why is unknown.

What we do know is Jakub Voracek will not play in the Flyers' round-robin finale against the Lightning at Scotiabank Arena.

"He's not available," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Friday in a video interview, "that's all I can say for tomorrow."

As we learned during training camp when Voracek was absent from a scrimmage, there will be various levels of weirdness, uncertainty and inevitable speculation when a player is unavailable. Because of a mutual agreement between the NHL and NHLPA to respect an individual player's right to medical privacy during this time, clubs are not allowed to release specifications for any injuries/illnesses in the return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Naturally, time will tell about the severity of or length of time needed to return for Voracek's undisclosed absence.

Regardless, not having Voracek hurts the Flyers' chances to win the round robin. If the Flyers beat Tampa Bay, they'll secure the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed in the first round of the playoffs, which is slated to begin next Tuesday. If the Flyers lose to the Lightning, they'll settle for the No. 2 seed. The team has won its first two round-robin games by a combined score of 7-2 over the Bruins and Capitals.

Update: What Flyers fans need to know for round-robin finale, 1st-round matchups

When the Flyers started rolling in November of the regular season, Voracek was one of the club's best players. Since Nov. 1, the facilitating winger had 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) and a plus-14 rating in 58 games. He finished the regular season with a team-best 44 helpers, 56 points and a plus-14 mark in 69 games.

"Jake's got a unique skill set, a veteran guy that's been around and has played in some big games," Matt Niskanen said Friday in a video interview. "We'll welcome him when he comes back. In the meantime, keep chugging forward with the guys we have."

The Flyers will chug forward with 20-year-old rookie winger Joel Farabee climbing to an exciting spot in the lineup. He'll play on the first line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, while James van Riemsdyk will return to the lineup after being interestingly scratched for the Flyers' 3-1 win Thursday over the Capitals. Connor Bunnaman, a 22-year-old forward who will likely be an extra come the first round if the Flyers are healthy, played in van Riemsdyk's place.

"It was less about benching James than looking at the big picture," Vigneault said. "Yes, James had been OK, just OK so far, after having in my estimation a real strong training camp. But I wanted to get Joel in, I also wanted to get Bunny in at some point, and I felt with the opposition, that it was the right time. Probably less to do with benching, more to do with the big picture."

The 31-year-old van Riemsdyk will join the third line. Vigneault is known to communicate with his players when they're taken out of the lineup or there's a notable change. The two-time 30-goal scorer wouldn't disclose the message between the player and coach, but van Riemsdyk was positive Friday, taking everything in stride.

“With those types of conversations, generally like to keep those in-house," van Riemsdyk said.

“For me, I look back at my career and playing in the playoffs and all these things, I’ve had success doing that in the past. My approach is going to stay the same and try to be the best player I can be and maximize every day. That’s always the way I approach things no matter what, I love the game. We have a great team and have a great shot this year, so my motivation and approach remains consistent day in and day out. No matter if you have a day that doesn’t go your way or if you have a day where things are going well, you go to the next day and you have to do it all over again.”

On the defensive side of things, Shayne Gostisbehere will draw into the lineup for Robert Hagg. Vigneault and his coaching staff had wanted to get Gostisbehere some action in the round robin. They trust the 27-year-old defenseman who could give a boost to the Flyers' power play, which is 0 for 8 through the round robin. Expect to see Hagg back with Justin Braun when the first round begins.

Here is the Flyers' lineup for Saturday's round-robin finale:

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Derek Grant-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor Bunnaman-Nate Thompson-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

• What Flyers fans need to know for round-robin finale, 1st-round matchups

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• What round-robin schedule change could mean for Flyers' strategy

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• The Flyers' lineup, practicing celebrations, no hiding these two and more

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