If the pandemic cooperates, the Flyers — and all NHL teams — will play their first 82-game schedule in three seasons.
The Flyers, coming off a 25-23-8 season in which they missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the last nine years, released their 2021-22 schedule Thursday, and it opens with an Oct. 15 home game against Vancouver.
For the first time since 1974-75, the Flyers will start a season with four straight home games in front of fans. If you like omens: The last time that happened, the Flyers won the Stanley Cup.
Last season the Flyers also opened with four straight home games, but that was without fans because of the pandemic.
This year’s season-opening homestand includes a Game 2 matchup on Oct. 18 against the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kracken. The Flyers’ first visit to Seattle is Dec. 29.
After the first four games, the Flyers head to Western Canada for games against Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The Flyers’ regular season will end April 29 against visiting Ottawa. They will play 15 sets of back-to-back games.
The current version of the NHL schedule contains a 20-day Olympic break from Feb. 2-22. The NHL said no final agreement or decision has been made yet regarding the possible participation of NHL players in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Talks remain ongoing.
The league said the NHL and the Players’ Association will retain full authority to decide not to participate should COVID-19 conditions worsen or otherwise pose a threat to the health and safety of players, or for any other reason that may warrant such a decision.
If there is no NHL player participation in the Olympics, a revised regular-season schedule will be released.
Should NHL players participate, the Flyers will come out of the Olympic break with a visit to Detroit, followed by a season-long six-game homestand that starts Feb. 26 vs. Washington and runs through March 8, when Vegas visits Philadelphia.
The NHL is returning to its previous scheduling format after redefining the divisions for 2020-21 because of COVID-19. However, the addition of Seattle takes two dates away from the Flyers’ divisional opponents. They will play Columbus and New Jersey just three times each, while facing the other Metropolitan Division teams four times each. They will continue to play Atlantic Division opponents three times each, and will see every Western Conference team once at home and once on the road.
Start times for the entire schedule have not yet been finalized.