Here's a pretty good way to get people interested in the NHL again: Open the regular season with a home-and-home between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Yep, that'll work.
According to multiple reports, the Flyers are planning on opening the season on Saturday, Jan. 19 with a home game against the Pens at 3 p.m.
That's just as we wished a few days ago: A hockey doubleheader at the WFC next weekend, with Penn State and Vermont facing off in NCAA action later in the evening. CSN reports that the college game has been pushed back slightly from its original 7:30 p.m. start time considering the later start for the Flyers game. It's also worth mentioning that the 3 p.m. start time for Flyers/Pens could indicate an NBC national broadcast. Would make sense.
The entire schedule situation is very fluid right now as the NHL tries to line up the 48-game season, but indications are that the Flyers could be in Pittsburgh the next night for a rematch at Consol Energy Center, according to reports from both Philly and Pittsburgh beat writers. That'd be fun.
If a home-and-home is played, the Flyers and Pens would immediately wipe off two of the expected five games they'll play against one another over the course of the 48-game season. There will be an imbalanced schedule format within the division where the Flyers will play two Atlantic rivals four times a piece and the other two five times a piece.