The NHL Draft has come and gone, blink and you missed free agency. It is now officially August, which means the 2022-23 NHL season is almost upon us. This is the fourth and final article of my 2022 offseason outlook for the Philadelphia Flyers, as it is now time to focus on line combinations for the upcoming season.
The Flyers have already taken hits to the lineup with injuries to players like Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink. Ryan Ellis‘ health also remains in question, though it seems imminent that he will start the season on long-term injured reserve.
Here is my projection for the lines on opening night.
ForwardsCam Atkinson – Sean Couturier – Travis KonecnyOwen Tippett – Kevin Hayes – Morgan Frost James van Riemsdyk – Scott Laughton – Noah Cates Nicolas Deslauriers – Tanner Laczynski – Wade AllisonExtras: Patrick Brown, Zack MacEwanDefenseTony DeAngelo – Ivan ProvorovRasmus Ristolainen – Travis SanheimJustin Braun – Cam YorkExtras: Nick Seeler GoaliesCarter HartTroy Grosenick LTIR: Ryan Ellis, Joel FarabeeIt is no secret that is not the strongest looking lineup even with Ellis and Farabee healthy. There are some pieces that could play a big part in hopefully making this a somewhat successful season. Once Farabee comes back from injury, the lines will look similar, but with certain players dropping down a line with his return.
Take for example:Atkinson – Couturier – FarabeeKonecny – Kevin Hayes – Frostvan Riemsdyk – Laughton – TippettDeslauriers – Laczynski – CatesExtras: Brown, MacEwan, AllisonThe bottom line is that plenty of young players like Lacyznski, Cates, Allison, Isaac Ratcliffe, and Brink – when he also returns approximately in December recovering from a torn labrum in his left hip – Tyson Foerster, Zayde Wisdom, and others will have the opportunity of a lifetime to impress the coaching staff in order to earn a roster spot.
An x-factor will also be new head coach John Tortorella, who will do his best with this team to improve from last year’s 61-point last-place team in the Metropolitan Division. Every player will get their chance, as not many current players spots are safe. Regardless, it is expected to be an up-and-down, tumultuous journey from puck drop in October to the spring, something that hasn’t been a routine feeling with this franchise in years past.