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Hot on the heels of an announcement earlier this week that the Philadelphia Flyers could be without forward Sean Couturier for the entire season, the team has confirmed that defenseman Ryan Ellis is also likely out for the entire season.
The 31 year old Ellis was limited to just four games last season due to injury after being acquired by the Flyers from the Nashville Predators in a major offseason trade. It's believed that Ellis suffered some sort of lower body injury during training camp last season and tried to push through the pain, making things worse. There have been reports that he suffered a cracked pelvis bone, which sounds absolutely excruciating to me.
“It’s honestly been the hardest year of my life,” Ellis said following last season. “Can’t say I’ve been through anything harder. Coming to a new team, this year was probably the most excited I’ve been for hockey. New team, new city, new fans, new building, you name it. Everything was new and exciting. Our team had unbelievable upside to it all.”
“I tried to play through it, and then it happened again. I guess,” he said of re-injuring himself. Looking back, probably rushed it and just made everything worse.”
Before the injury, “ training camp went really well. The team looked great. I think playing with Provy (Ivan Provorov) felt great. First couple of games, personally for me, were good, even though I was injured at that point already.”
As for Couturier, the news is just as bad.
It should go without saying though that losing Couturier for an entire season would be an absolutely devastating blow to the Flyers. The 29 year old center is the heart and soul of this team and, to me, he looks like the most likely to candidate to succeed Claude Giroux as the team's next captain. He's a player who is tailor made for John Tortorella's system and now it looks like he won't even be able to lace up the skates this season. Ouch.
More from Flyers insider Anthony SanFilippo:
According to sources, while Couturier is being re-evaluated, it’s not looking good and that the belief is he will miss at least 12 weeks. That, however, could be on the optimistic end. There is a thought it could be longer and extend well into the second half of the season, if not the entire season.
It is unclear whether this injury is directly related to the back surgery from February, or if this is a new problem for Couturier, but to lose him for at least the first three months of the season would be a crushing blow for the Flyers.
An attempt to reach Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher was unsuccessful, prior to this post being published.
If both Ellis and Couturier are indeed on the shelf for the season, I suspect that the Flyers will find themselves at the bottom of the NHL's Metropolitan Division for the second season in a row. Truth be told though, they may find themselves in that position regardless of either players' status.