Pushing Olympics to 2021 makes Brian Boucher optimistic for NHL to finish season


Brian Boucher, best known in Philadelphia for helping the Flyers push to the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs and now a well-respected analyst for NBC Sports, caught up with our own Michael Barkann during the current stoppage of play.

There, Barkann and Boucher discussed a wide variety of topics, the biggest being the future of the current NHL season. 

“My hopeful side, my optimistic side says that we’ll have a playoffs,” Boucher said last Friday. “Why I say that is because the Olympics getting pushed to next year, 2021, opens up a window in July and August for the NHL to jump in there.

"That to me is a positive, so something tells me the NHL is going to do all they can to see this season through. Whether or not that means having a conclusion to the regular season remains to be seen.”

It’s a valid argument — and knowing that the league is going to do all it can to award the Stanley Cup, this could very well be one of the more viable and logical options. 

Of course, this all depends on how the next few weeks play out. When will games even be able to start back up? If they do, can fans attend or will it be done in a smaller arena? There are still many unanswered questions during this time, but planning for just about every possibility is the right move. 

Now if things were to eventually start again, how would the Flyers be affected? After going from one of the top teams in the league for months to going cold turkey for a significant amount of time certainly raises some concern.

“They were the hottest team in the National Hockey League,” Boucher said. “A stop like this certainly stops that whole momentum in its tracks, and whatever they were doing in early March and late February, it’s going to be next to impossible to replicate if they start up again in July.

“You cannot expect them to pick up where they left off. They’re going to be starting at square one, but I’ve been impressed with this club all year long — impressed with the direction that Alain Vigneault has brought to this club. They are much more organized, they defend better, I like the veteran leadership that they brought into this locker room and that’s a credit to Chuck Fletcher.”

To hear more about Boucher’s time during the NHL hiatus, his thoughts on the league moving forward and his former team the Flyers, you can watch the rest of the interview above.

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