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NHLPA agrees with principle of 24-team return to play format for 2019-20 NHL season



Prior to joining the Flyers on the Feb. 24 trade deadline, Nate Thompson played for seven teams in 13 years in the NHL.

Some good teams, too. Thompson made the 2011 Eastern Conference Final with the Lightning, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. He went to the 2017 Western Conference Final with the Ducks and played 36 postseason games through three seasons for Anaheim. Overall, he has 62 playoff appearances on his résumé.

With the flyers, Thompson played seven games before being forced to suspend the NHL due to a coronavirus outbreak. He joined the club on a three-game winning streak and helped run to nine straight victories before the Flyers lost to the Bruins in their final matchup early.

A 35-year-old veteran like Thompson made a seamless move to the Flyers locker room. It also took him seven games to see the Flyers be a contender starting to wake up.

And not just built for this season.

“It̵

7;s definitely an organization, not only this year, but I think next year, it will be great,” Thompson said as a guest on Sportsnet’s latest 31 Thoughts: Podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman published Wednesday . “They’ll definitely have a chance. It’s been great, especially at this point in my career, to be a part of something like that. Unfortunately, we stopped, but hopefully we’ll come back. So, let’s go back to playing. and have a chance to win this year. “

There’s a good chance that 2019-20 will be Thompson’s only season in Philadelphia as he is set to become an unrestrained free agent during the offseason, so this shot means a lot to him. He knows if fans of flyers feel frustrated with the current run at risk, they should at least comfort the fact that the team looks well-built for the immediate future.

The club’s defense is young, deep and will have at least one more Matt Niskanen year. The forward team is still experiencing some of the best years, Travis Konecny ​​has blossomed into an All-Star and prospects like Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost have their feet wet. That is not to mention Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom who are out there and still in the picture, of course, going forward. And the Flyers have their 21-year-old franchise goalie just starting.

“When you have people like Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, these people, they lead by example and off the ice,” Thompson said. “You can see their habits, you see playing Couturier, all kinds of just following his lead. And then you have some great young players and a goalie like Carter Hart, who I think the sky’s the limit for him, a kid is a stud. “

The couple included head coach Alain Vigneault, who twice left the Stanley Cup Final, and Thompson believes Philadelphia should have some fun.

“Everyone always asked me when I got there, ‘Oh, how about Philly?’ I was like, ‘Well, this is great, we’ve won nine in a row, it’s hard not to love it here,’ “Thompson said. “It’s fun to be a part of, they have a great group of guys in the locker room. I know you can say that for a lot of teams, but you can really tell how much the boys 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 it just didn’t feel like they won that many in a row. , go into your business and into the next game and hope to win it. “

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