NHLPA accepts 24-team return-to-play format principle for the 2019-20 NHL season


Before joining the Flyers on the February 24 deadline, Nate Thompson had played for seven teams in 13 years in the NHL.

Very good teams too. Thompson made the final of the 2011 Eastern Conference with the Lightning, who had Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. He competed in the 2017 Western Conference final with the Ducks and played 36 postseason games over three seasons for Anaheim. In total, he has 62 playoff appearances in his resume.

With the Flyers, Thompson played seven games before the NHL was forced to suspend the season due to the coronavirus outbreak. He joined the club on a three-game winning streak and helped him stretch the streak to nine consecutive wins before the Flyers lost to the Bruins in their final game before the break.

A 35-year-old veteran like Thompson made a smooth transition into the Flyers’ locker room. It also took him just seven games to see that the Flyers were a competitor starting to wake up.

And not just built for this season.

“It’s definitely an organization, not just this year, but I think for the next few years they’re going to be very, very good,” said Thompson as a guest on Sportsnet’s last 31 thoughts: the podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman. published Wednesday. “They will definitely have a chance. It was a lot of fun, especially at this point in my career, to be part of something like this. Unfortunately, with what happened, we stopped, but I hope we can come back to play again and have a chance to win this year. “

There is a good chance that 2019-2020 will be Thompson’s only season in Philadelphia as he is on the verge of becoming an unrestricted free agent during the off season, so this shot means a lot to him. He knows that if Flyers fans get frustrated with the endangerment of the current race, they should at least take comfort in the fact that the team seems built well enough for the immediate future.

The club’s defense is young, deepening and will be at least a year older than Matt Niskanen. The group of attackers has veterans still living some of their best years, Travis Konecny ​​thriving in an All-Star and prospects like Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost getting their feet wet. This without mentioning that Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom are absent and still in the photo, of course, progressing. And the Flyers have their 21-year-old franchise keeper just started.

“When you have a guy like Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, these guys set an example on and off the ice,” said Thompson. “You can see their habits, you see the way Couturier plays, everyone follows his example in a way. And then you have good young players and a goalkeeper like Carter Hart, who I think the sky is the limit for him, the child is a stallion. ” “

Add to that head coach Alain Vigneault, who competed twice in the Stanley Cup finals, and Thompson thinks there should be some excitement in Philadelphia.

“Everyone always asked me when I got there,” Oh, how is Philly? I think, “Well, that’s great, we’ve won nine straight, it’s hard not to like it here,” said Thompson. “It was a lot of fun to be part of it, they have a large group of guys in the locker room. I know you can say that for a lot of teams, but you can really say how much the guys care and how much fun they have – and you can see it. When I got there, I think they won three, four in a row and they almost didn’t feel like they won that much. It was a little fair to come to the rink the next day, reset, have fun, work hard, go about your business and move on to the next game and hope to win it. “

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