It’s no secret that the Flyers struggled to stay healthy last season. Multiple key players went down with injury, and that certainly didn’t help their case in a season that went off the rails quickly.
For much of the offseason, the Flyers focused on the return of several players to health as a reason that things could be different. They hoped that things would be different for Ryan Ellis after a lost year. They were getting a healthy Kevin Hayes back for the start of camp. They had Sean Couturier returning after missing half of the season.
Despite that, Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink suffered injuries in the offseason prior to training camp, meaning they would miss significant time. Similarly, there was little to no update on the status of Ellis, who will also not be ready for the start of camp. And now, it appears that the Flyers will not only be without Couturier after all, but potentially for the duration of the 2022-23 season.
According to a report from Crossing Broad’s Anthony SanFilippo, Couturier suffered a herniated disc during strength and conditioning drills last week that will cause him to miss significant time. The early belief is that Couturier could miss at least 12 weeks, but it is possible that this could be a longer recovery that extends into the second half of the season and possibly the entire season.
At the time of the report, Couturier is still being re-evaluated to determine a potential timeline for the injury. It comes just three days before the Flyers were set to start on-ice work in training camp.
For a franchise already experiencing a lack of anticipation and excitement from their underwhelming offseason and lack of success over the last decade, this news is just another devastating blow. Before the team even hits the ice, their top-line center is very likely on the shelf for the majority of the season.
Couturier only played in 29 games last season before having back surgery in February. He scored six goals and 11 assists for 17 points.