For the third time in franchise history, the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in London, Ontario at the Budweiser Gardens on Sunday, Sept. 15. Presented by Scotiabank, this face-off will be a rematch of sorts, as these two teams would have kicked off this year’s preseason, had the NHL and Players Union had a working agreement before the season started. Anyone that had purchased a ticket for this year’s game will receive entry to this year’s contest. The Flyers usually play all of their preseason games at home, at the Wells Fargo Center, but a random game outside of Toronto will bring in a wealth of hungry hockey fans to enjoy a game between rivals. London has hosted the Flyers nine times prior during the preseason.
Rumors have been swirling for years about a second team being added to the Toronto area, making it the second city to host two professional hockey teams. With next year’s realignment coming into focus, two new teams would round the league out to 32, balancing out the league and making the playoffs less confusing. A game in London should help the NHL gauge the hunger for a second team in the market, as doing so too quickly might cannibalize the Leafs Nation.
This is also significant as the Flyers lineup will be an interesting one come September. Between buyouts, injuries, the NHL Draft, RFAs and UFAs, the Flyers from only a month ago may be radically different. Toronto will also be coming off of a playoff run, something they haven’t enjoyed since Jeremy Roenick and the Flyers eliminated them in 2004, a year after being eliminated by the Flyers in the first round.