When the 2020-21 NHL season commences, all eyes in the Philadelphia area will be on the Flyers. Last summer’s playoff run no doubt has the orange and black and their fans thirsty for more.
Despite the team's disappointing end to the playoffs, former Flyer Danny Briere has high hopes for this year’s club.
"I’m excited, I know a lot of people are down because of what they saw in the playoffs, but it’s tough to, after a three- or fourth-month break, just kick it back into gear and go right into the playoffs," Briere said recently in a video interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Michael Barkann.
“I was excited about how it went last year, I was excited about how the team took a step forward with Alain Vigneault and his coaching staff. I’m excited with what’s coming.”
The season start date is yet to be determined, however, the Flyers know they have a major void to fill both on their top defense pairing, as well as with veteran leadership, after the retirement of defenseman Matt Niskanen.
"The big question and the scare is losing Niskanen," Briere said. "It’s a big hole, that top pair with [Ivan] Provorov was amazing.”
The former Flyer did provide a silver lining despite the loss of Niskanen for the upcoming season.
“On the flip side, we might get guys like Nolan Patrick and [Oskar] Lindblom back in the lineup," Briere said. "I think there’s a lot of positives."
Lindblom returned to the ice briefly during the playoffs last summer after his battle with cancer. Aside from what Lindblom provides on the ice, which is potential top-six forward numbers, his presence clearly has a huge impact on the Flyers' locker room.
As far as Patrick goes, he missed last season because of a migraine headache disorder. Patrick did skate and practice lightly with the team a good bit last season, and the team says he is doing well.
The addition of Lindblom and Patrick potentially to the lineup would provide even more depth to a group of forwards that was already pretty impressive last season. The 2020-21 roster and lineup picture should become clearer once training camp opens at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, hopefully in the very near future.
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