PHILADELPHIA -- A long-overdue outdoor matchup between the Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins is closer to becoming a reality, team representatives announced Thursday.
Speaking at the team's annual town hall meeting for season ticket holders, Chief Operating Officer Shawn Tilger said that the possibility of the Flyers and Penguins meeting in an outdoor game -- either the Winter Classic or a Stadium Series game -- is being worked out, but is still pending NHL approval and finalization. The game would take place in the 2016-17 season -- the 50th-anniversary seasons for both clubs.
Tilger also offered an update on proposed renovations to the Wells Fargo Center, in time for its 20th anniversary in 2016. Concourses for the lower and mezzanine levels, as well as premium areas, will undergo a "technology-based" overhaul, according to Tilger, and have been discussed for two years. If all goes according to plan, upgrades will be complete for when the arena hosts the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.
Director of Scouting Chris Pryor also offered an update on the team's draft and prospect situation, emphasizing that the team will not rush the development of top prospects such as Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim and the recovering Shayne Gostisbehere. Pryor also touched on the 10 picks that the Orange and Black currently possess in this year's draft -- widely-considered to be one of the deepest in recent memory -- as well as their two first-round picks for the first time since 2003.
"It's not only the number of picks, but the quality of them as well," Pryor said.
Pryor, almost naturally, discussed the possibility of Connor McDavid being selected by the Flyers, joking that the team's work on draft weekend would be cut out for them if -- and only if -- they snag the highly-touted prospect.
Craig Berube also discussed the state of the roster, lauding the likes of Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Michael Del Zotto. Berube mentioned that Del Zotto's play this year is reminiscent of his early days with the Rangers, but trying to do too much defensively was what led to several healthy scratches at points this season.
Berube also discussed the struggling play of Vincent Lecavalier, saying that he's had "a tough go" over his two seasons with the Orange and Black.
"He's had a tough time putting the puck in the net," Berube said of Lecavalier, who's scored 27 goals and 58 points as a Flyer. "He's not unappreciated."
Team president Paul Holmgren also spoke of Lecavalier and his contract, which is set to pay him $10.5 million over the next three seasons. He also validated that Lecavalier was sold on playing with the Flyers for the opportunity to play under Peter Laviolette, which, of course, didn't go as planned.
"If [Laviolette] stayed," Holmgren said, "who knows what would've happened with Vinny?"
Additionally, GM Ron Hextall elaborated on the team's patient, long-term strategy of building a contender, adding that Holmgren and Ed Snider are fully on board with the operation -- with respect to the win-now mantra that the organization's adopted for decades.
But while the team will utilize that patient approach, they'll still look to balance that with competing for an end to their 40-year Stanley Cup drought.
"We're not gonna accept being the doormat for the next three-to-four years," Hextall emphasized.
Rob Riches is a contributor to Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Riches61