Philadelphia Flyers' Morgan Frost (48) celebrates with teammates after his winning goal in a shootout in overtime during a preseason NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Boston (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

 

SUNRISE, Fla. — Owen Tippett has played against his former Florida Panthers teammates twice since being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2022, but he’ll be a visitor at Amerant Bank Arena for the first time when the Flyers visit the Panthers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; BSFL, NBCSP).

Tippett did not play here last season with Philadelphia because of an upper-body injury.

Philadelphia Flyers' Owen Tippett left game vs. Avalanche early with  lower-body injury - Daily Faceoff

“This is going to be special,” the 24-year-old forward said Monday. “This is my first time back, and while it has been a couple of years and isn’t exactly fresh, I do have a lot of good memories in this building and with a lot of the guys who are over there.”

Tippett went into the break missing four straight games with a lower-body injury, but he’s expected to be activated off injured reserve after being at full speed during the Flyers’ past two practices here.

Florida’s first-round pick (No. 10) at the 2017 NHL Draft, Tippett was its top prospect and had 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) in 94 games over parts of three seasons with the Panthers. During the 2021-22 season, he split time with Florida and Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

And with the Panthers going all-in that season at the NHL Trade Deadline, Tippett said he heard his name in almost every trade proposal involving the team.

“It can be tough when you hear your name in rumors like that,” Tippett said. “You just have to try and focus on your game. At the same time, you see that there is potential. As the weeks passed, it seemed more realistic that I would be moving on. I just tried not to get too caught up in the rumors and try to control the things I could control.”

Tippett played a key role in Florida’s blockbuster deal with Philadelphia on March 19, 2022. The Panthers added former Flyers captain Claude Giroux, a fifth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, and forward prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov. Philadelphia obtained Tippett, Florida’s first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, as well as a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Tippett was promptly acquired by the Flyers and elevated to the top six forward position. He scored seven points (four goals and three assists) in 21 games.

Giroux departed the Panthers that summer to join as a free agent with the Ottawa Senators, but Tippett is a key component of the Flyers’ rebuild.

“I was going back and forth for a while, but the last time I got sent to Charlotte, it seemed more and more likely I was going to be moved,” said Tippett. “I approached it with a positive attitude, and travelling to Philadelphia represented a new beginning and chance. I knew a few guys here, which made things easier. But it’s been fantastic. “I am very happy here.”

Tippett has 30 points (18 goals, 12 assists) through 46 games this season. On January 26, he signed an eight-year, $49.6 million contract ($6.2 million average yearly value) that will start next season.

“It is pretty special, and it is not even about the money for me,” Tippett said after practice on Monday. “It’s simply knowing that Philadelphia will be my home for the next eight years, and I’ll be able to settle in and establish a pattern here. It’s very cool, and I’m looking forward to it.

“This has been a lot of fun. The group we have here is quite amazing. The group’s chemistry makes going to the rink much more fun, and it shows on the ice. We compete every night. I believe we take some teams by surprise. “That is a lot of fun.”

The Flyers (25-19-6) are third in the Metropolitan Division, but they will look to snap a five-game losing streak Tuesday, during which they have been outscored 27–12. Coach John Tortorella used numerous exercises at practice Monday to get his offence moving.

Tippett’s return should help; he has been playing left wing on Philadelphia’s top line with centre Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson for the past two sessions.

“Owen Tippett develops offence on his own,” Tortorella explained. “We’ve struggled offensively with our confidence. Couturier and [Travis] Konecny have struggled, which is an important part of our attacking progress.

“You bring ‘Tipp’ in; I believe I can bounce him around on different lines and he will bring it himself.” He has now reached a place in his profession where I believe he can help others at such a young age. That is exactly what we need.

“If we’re going to have any chance of staying competitive, he has to bring it while also assisting other guys offensively.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *