Ahead of the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks, the Philadelphia Flyers will begin with a 21-man roster. Today is the first practice session with a steady NHL lineup before 2021-2022 begins.
All the forwards (12), defensemen (6), and goaltenders (2) in the lineup make up 99% of the opening night roster. Earlier in the preseason, Alain Vigneault hinted towards the Flyers only carrying twenty players. Chuck Fletcher made a late addition in Patrick Brown, keeping in compliance with the flat cap. Kevin Hayes is the only active scratch.
Currently, Philadelphia has ~$27k of cap space available. Sam Morin and Tanner Laczynski, according to CapFriendly, are the most expensive players on injured reserve (or season-opening injured reserve.) Outright, the Flyers are the most injured NHL team before the 2021-2022 season begins (next are the Edmonton Oilers with six players.)
Chuck Fletcher is walking a tight rope with the current salary cap situation. Nonetheless, the Canucks are up on Friday. Today, some of those players continued to rehab. Slowly, Philadelphia is trending in the right direction.
Practice Session Takeaways
Kevin Hayes continued to rehab on the ice following his abdominal surgery. Hayes will miss around 9-10 games to begin the 2021-2022 season. Already, the opening stages to a brand new season require patience, awaiting a critical cog of the Philadelphia Flyers to return.
Rasmus Risolainen and Ryan Ellis missed the last three practices. When the season opens on Friday, Ristolainen and Ellis will likely still be in the lineup. Alain Vigneault didn’t seem too stressed regarding their statuses, continuing to cite them as “maintenance” days.
Patrick Brown, the Flyers’ latest acquisition, will join tomorrow’s practice session. He’s on the way to Philadelphia from Las Vegas today. Brown will take on a fourth-line role. With him on the fourth line are Nate Thompson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Per Vigneault, tomorrow is an “off-ice” session.
When the Flyers are back on the ice on Thursday before their season opener versus the Vancouver Canucks on Friday, Vigneault expects Risolainen and Ellis to partake.
James van Riemsdyk also spoke following Vigneault and the practice session. According to van Riemsdyk, he prefers to play RW when the rest of his line is left-hand shots (Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton.)
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre