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Flyers Michael Raffl Loan Casts Doubt on NHL Training Camps

The Philadelphia Flyers loaned Michael Raffl overseas. What does that say for when NHL training camps will start?

Obviously, everything is still just speculation, but the Philadelphia Flyers may have dropped a pretty serious hint about the status of NHL training camps with the news they’ve loaned veteran forward Michael Raffl overseas until camps get under way. The Austrian-born NHLer will play for his hometown team, Villacher SV of the IceHL, but what’s perhaps more telling is that he’s being loaned less than a month before NHL camps were supposed to open.

Related: Gostisbehere Trade Unlikely Now, But Possibility Later for Flyers

The Flyers loaning Raffl to Villacher SV has been rumored all the way back to September so it shouldn’t come as a total shock to Flyers Nation. And, in the grand scheme of where the NHL’s return to play is at, this may mean nothing. That said, the timing is a bit odd. As Sam Carchidi writes, “That’s a good indication that camp won’t start in mid-December.”

Raffl is a versatile forward who will certainly have a spot on the Flyers roster next season. He turns 32, had eight goals in 58 regular-season games, but notched four in nine postseason games even with an ankle injury that caused him to miss seven other contests.

So What Does This Mean?

For the Flyers and the player, with the NHL season up in the air, Raffl and the Flyers figured out a way to get the seven-year veteran warmed up for the season. Villacher, is located in Raffl’s hometown and is the program that he played all of his developmental hockey with.

But, for the NHL and the 2020-21 season, perhaps the Flyers have some sort of indication things might be delayed. And, in a worst-case scenario, if the NHL and NHLPA can’t come to terms on a new agreement, Raffl now knows he has a job for the 2020-2021 season.

Next: Oilers Likely to Invite PTOs to Training Camp: Some Candidates

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