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Update on Flyers’ Ryan Ellis, and it’s not good news

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Ryan Ellis Philadelphia Flyers urier, Philadelphia Flyers
Claude Giroux (left), Ryan Ellis (middle) and Sean Couturier at an early-season Flyers practice. Photo: Zack Hill.

It looks as if Ryan Ellis’ season is over.

If it is, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound defenseman played four games for the Philadelphia Flyers after being their marquee acquisition in the offseason.

“Obviously, we’re getting to the point in the season where it’s looking less likely that he’ll play,” interim coach Mike Yeo said after the Flyers’ morning skate Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. “But nothing has been fully determined yet.”

Ellis played in the Flyers’ first three games and helped them start 2-0-1 as he picked up four points, including a goal. He then missed a little over three weeks — and nine games — and played in a 5-2 loss in Dallas.

He hasn’t played since.

The Flyers will only call it a “lower-body injury,” but it appears to be his hip/groin area. Last month, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said Ellis was trying to avoid surgery, and all parties were looking at “different ways of rehabbing and treatment to allow him to play.”

Ellis, 31, picked up points in each of his four games, collecting five points and a plus-2 rating while being paired with Ivan Provorov.

The duo looked good together, and Provorov seemed as comfortable with Ellis as he did Matt Niskanen a couple seasons ago.

Since then, Provorov has had an up-and-down season while being paired primarily with Justin Braun.

Ellis has not had a meaningful skating session recently, per Yeo.

“I don’t know if he skated in the last few days,” Yeo said. When he last was on the ice, “I don’t even know if I’d really call it skating with what he was doing. He was just kind of there on skates, sort of gliding around. He certainly wasn’t pushing himself to any point where we would think he’s a possibility to return any time soon.”

With 28 game left after Tuesday, it appears he won’t play for the Orange and Black until October.

With questions about Ellis’ health lingering, there are rumors that the Flyers are pursuing Montreal’s Jeff Petry, a 34-year-old defenseman who could play on the first or second pairing. Petry, who is righthanded (like Ellis), is signed through the end of the 2024-25 season with an annual $6.25 million cap hit.

In July, the Flyers traded Nolan Patrick and Phil Myers to Nashville for Ellis, a proven veteran who played in just 35 games last season because of a shoulder injury. The Predators then dealt Patrick to Vegas.

“Pretty shocked,” Ellis said at the time. “Never been through it before, so overall surprised, shocked, and at the same time excited. New challenge, new chapter.”

Oilers in town

The Philadelphia Flyers will host Edmonton on Tuesday and try to build off Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

The Oilers are battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“That’s a very desperate team over there. They’re on the outside, and they’re right there as far as their playoff push,” Yeo said. “It’ll be a good challenge for us to see if we can match that desperation. That’s what we want to build here; that kind of attitude that you’re not satisfied by winning one game. We’ve got to get greedy now.”

Breakaways

Nate Thompson is “weeks away” from returning from shoulder surgery, which was performed Nov. 30. He returned to the ice Monday. Yeo said there was a “real good chance” he would play again this season, and that he would help the penalty kill … The Flyers, crippled by injuries, are 8-16-6 since Yeo replaced Alain Vigneault. They were 8-10-4 when Vigneault was fired on Dec. 6.

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Tim Cahill

I wonder why there’s a rumor that the Flyers will trade for a 34 year old RHD who’s signed for over $6 million a year until he’s 37/38….. it’s not like the Flyers have ever done something as utterly stupid as that and screwed themselves over horribly, right?

Seriously…. why does this organization hate young players so passionately, energetically, and predictably? I mean, just trade away every 1st thru 3rd round draft choice you have from now to eternity and keep on “succeeding” thru the signing of 34 year old free agent journeymen. What is the point in pretending this org has any interest in playing any kid they draft? It’s so rare anymore except when injuries dictate it.

Drafting well and developing players is how teams ascend and contend. The Flyers still manage their roster as if we’re in pre-salary cap days. Young players are less expensive. If you can’t develop any, then your org is a failure and major changes are required. Period.

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