Before the Flyers welcome the Penguins for their regular-season opener Wednesday, they have some decisions to make.
To help make those decisions, the Flyers will play themselves Sunday. With no preseason games, the intrasquad contest will be integral for the club's hockey operations personnel as it crams in final evaluations. It will also serve as a valuable tune-up for the players ahead of the 2020-21 opener.
The Flyers anticipate having a 23-man roster heading into the regular season. Because of the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, teams will be allowed to loan a minimum of four and a maximum of six players to their taxi squad.
"This is the last opportunity that players are going to have to make an impression with myself, my coaching staff and obviously management, so it's a very important intrasquad game," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Sunday morning in a video interview. "We are deciding the lineup, we are deciding the taxi squad and we are deciding also which players will start their season in the American League. There are a lot of questions that we have right now that need to be answered and tonight is the perfect format to do that in."
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
- When: 7 p.m. ET
- Where: Wells Fargo Center
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• Vigneault cracked a small smile Sunday morning when he was asked about seeing Nolan Patrick for the first time in game action since the head coach was hired in April 2019.
Patrick missed all of last training camp and the 2019-20 season with a migraine disorder.
The 22-year-old center has been a full participant in this camp and is gearing up for his return. Patrick, who has looked good in camp with his skill level and competitiveness on display, has not played an NHL game since April 2, 2019.
• Shayne Gostisbehere and Wade Allison are listed as unfit to play. Both missed practice Saturday. Per league protocols during training camp, the club can't disclose specifics for why a player isn't on the ice.
It's an unfortunate missed opportunity for Gostisbehere. Allison is also competing for a taxi squad spot.
• The game will feature three 20-minute periods and NHL referees. Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon will coach one team with Phantoms assistant coach Kerry Huffman leading the other.
Vigneault and the Flyers' coaching staff will watch from upstairs with general manager Chuck Fletcher and the team's front office.
• Here are the projected lineups for both teams. You can find the jersey numbers here.
Home team (orange jerseys) projected lineup
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
Samuel Morin-Andy Andreoff-Carsen Twarynski
Wyatte Wylie (defenseman)-Zayde Wisdom
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Egor Zamula-Mark Friedman
Chris Bigras-Derrick Pouliot
Visiting team (white jerseys) projected lineup
James van Riemsdyk-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Connor Bunnaman-Morgan Frost-Linus Sandin
Max Willman-Tyson Foerster
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg-Erik Gustafsson
Tyler Wotherspoon-Nate Prosser
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