When the Philadelphia Flyers announce their lineup for Monday’s first preseason game, expect a young group that includes players who have made an impact on management.
For prospects, it’s an opportunity to further impress the coaches and management. And to do so against another NHL team. The game against the Devils is 7 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark (no TV, but radio coverage on 97.5 The Fanatic). Monday’s game is the first of six Flyers’ preseason games.
For fans, Monday’s lineup might provide insight into management’s thinking. (Philly Hockey Now will publish the lineup when it’s released, which is supposed to be Monday morning.) That doesn’t mean every highly-thought-of prospect will play against the Devils, but maybe you can glean a trend line or two. This, of course, doesn’t mean all of the prospects will make the big club, but it likely will show their progress through Development Camp, Rookie Camp and Training Camp.
“You’re going to see a couple people that are in this roster — it’s probably going to be young roster, usually is, right, the first games,” Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella said.
“Some of those young guys that will play tomorrow have caught our eye that may play later ones and may take some time away from some other guys.”
Tortorella has adopted the Philadelphia Flyers’ rebuild as his own. He wants to establish something here, something that will lead to the franchise again being competitive. More, Tortorella, general manager Daniel Briere and president Keith Jones talk about the restoration of the franchise’s glory years.
The Flyers want to create “what we consider a standard here as far as how we go about our camp,” Tortorella said.
“I think that’s really important. We’re talking about trying to change things here. I guess it’s the ‘New Era [of Orange]’? Is that the saying?
“Then we need to act accordingly. Danny’s on-board and Jonesy. We’ve talked about this.
“We want this to be a destination again for players to want to come here. We have a little bit of work to do to mend some things that have kinda lost themselves in this organization.”
Maybe the next step is giving playing time to prospects who deserve it most.
“As a manager group we have a vision of where we feel maybe 25-28 players are as far as an NHL roster that’s going to keep on fighting along in the later exhibition games,” Tortorella said.
“For me, it’s important that you do reward people. And quite honestly, some guys may lose opportunities based on how they go about their business in scrimmage games, early exhibitions.
“I think that’s the way it should be. We’re always talking about merit and earning things. We can’t talk out of both sides of our mouth.”
So when that preseason Game 1 roster comes out, it’s won’t be the Rosetta Stone. It won’t have all of the answers. But it might provide a road map to where some of the prospects stand as of Sept. 25.