According to multiple sources, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier is dealing with a herniated disc. He appears to have suffered the set back within the last few days during offseason workouts. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the team is seeking additional medical opinion to determine the extent of the injury:
This is disheartening news for the Flyers, and for Couturier himself. In the 2021-22 season, Couturier was limited to a mere 29 games. In those games, he struggled offensively, posting a mere six goals before requiring season-ending surgery. The 2019-20 Selke award winner was looking for a rebound season this year centering the top line. This is now doubtful, dealing quite the blow to the Flyers.
Sean Couturier Injured; Out Long-Term
Best case scenario, if indeed Couturier is dealing with a herniated disc, is roughly a 4–6 weeks recovery time. If this is related to last season’s injury and potentially another surgery, this could mean a foregone season. Considering he has already been placed on IR by the Flyers, there does not appear to be a less severe option at this time.
The 6′ 3″, 211 lb center was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In 721 regular season games, Couturier has scored 180 goals and added 280 assists. He is best known for his 200-foot game as one of the elite two-way forwards in the game. His face-off percentage is another strong suit, averaging over 56% the last three seasons on the dot.
What this means for Philadelphia
It is no secret the Flyers struggled mightily last season, finishing dead last in the Metropolitan division. Part of that was scoring, where the team leader in goals was at a mere 24 in James Van Riemsdyk. The departure of Claude Giroux to the Ottawa Senators this offseason also compounds the hole left down the middle with Couturier missing time. The positive here is that the Flyers projected over the cap entering this season. The money saved on the LTIR could make the Flyers able to look for a trade or possible PTO with camps opening in the next few days. Either way you slice this one though, this is a terrible break for the Flyers, their fans, and specifically Sean Couturier.