It appears as though the Philadelphia Flyers’ COVID-19-fueled hiatus is coming to an end shortly.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Monday that the Flyers will resume their schedule on Thursday for their matchup with the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers have not played since Feb. 7 — a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals — after the team came in contact with the virus that has seen over 40 games across the NHL postponed.
In total, eight Flyers were added to the NHL’s COVID protocol list over the last week: Justin Braun, Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux, Travis Sanheim, Jake Voracek, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny, and Scott Laughton.
It is unknown if any of those eight players actually tested positive for the virus, though the immediate concern revolves around the 24-year-old Lindblom, who recently overcame Ewing’s sarcoma.
Original reports suggested that the Flyers returned to practice on Monday, but they won’t hit the ice to begin preparation for a return to action until Tuesday.
The NHL’s major concern — other than making up the four games they missed — will be their availability to partake in the benchmark Outdoor Series on Sunday against the Boston Bruins in the league’s Lake Tahoe Series, which will take place on the Nevada-California border.
“We have stayed in close communication with the Flyers during the last 7 to 10 days regarding the status of testing and player availability issues,” Daly told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It continues to be our intention that the Flyers will resume the regular-season schedule on Thursday and will participate in Sunday’s game in Lake Tahoe. We will, of course, continue to actively monitor the situation.”
Despite the four-game layoff, the Flyers still sit in the No. 2 spot of the East Division with 18 points, just four off of the Washington Capitals, who have played one more game.