When Gary Bettman announced the NHL’s return-to-play plan on Tuesday, there was certainly a lot to unpack. Details about the playoff structure, finalists for hub cities which will host the playoff games and draft lottery info were all revealed. There were still several questions that remained unanswered, like when the hub cities would be announced and ultimately when the playoffs would begin and how long each series would be.
One thing that was confirmed is the Flyers place in all of this. With the regular season officially over, they are locked in as the fourth seed in the Top 4 of the Eastern Conference, meaning they will not be subject to the qualifying round that teams seeded 5 through 12 will.
That alone is a victory for the Flyers. The last thing any team should want to do is go through training camp and have to come back and play very meaningful games with your season on the line in a best-of-five series. The Flyers will simply participate in a Round Robin tournament with the other three teams at the top of the Eastern Conference with no risk of losing their place among the final 16 teams left in the playoff picture.
But it gets better for the Flyers. As the fourth seed, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.