The Philadelphia Flyers are set to hit the ice on Thursday to start their 2022-2023 training camp. But, they will be without a key piece at forward.
Sean Couturier, who missed the final 53-games last season due to back surgery, will miss the start of the season with an upper body injury. An injury that happened sometime last week during a training session.
Couturier, who is the Flyers 1st line center, will miss at least 6-8 weeks per multiple reports. It was first reported by Crossing Broads Anthony SanFilippo.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli followed up Anthony’s report with even more concerning news. Seravalli added that Couturier will miss at least 6-8 weeks and if not healed, surgery will be needed.
If Couturier needs surgery, his season will more than likely be over.
With Couturier out, the Flyers now have a need at center.
Currently, the only center who can play top six minutes is Kevin Hayes. After Hayes, Morgan Frost & Patrick Brown are the only other two centers on the roster. Neither of which have much experience in a top six role.
Before the Sean Couturier news broke, Artem Anisimov was one of five players who were invited to training camp on a professional tryout. Anisimov played center for John Tortorella for 3-seasons while with the New York Rangers.
A source later said that the two moves were not linked and Anisimov was signed before Couturier was injured.
Options At Center
During the offseason, the Flyers put a lot of stock in the return of a healthy Sean Couturier & Kevin Hayes. But, with Couturier now out long-term, that plan must now change.
Morgan Frost & Patrick Brown, the projected 3rd & 4th center for the Flyers, now will be tasked with more responsibility roles. Something that neither have much experience with.
After Hayes, Frost, & Brown, the Flyers are slim at center. Scott Laughton, who has had better success on the wing, could return to center. Tanner Laczynski, who has had injuries end his past two seasons, could win a job in camp.
Outside of Laughton, Laczynski, and camp invite Anisimov, the Flyers have minimal options in house to replace Couturier. Which could lead to a trade for a veteran center later on in training camp.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Wass – AP