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Flyers Are Officially Cursed: Sean Couturier Is Again Injured



Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyersrview, Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers were counting on Sean Couturier, who missed most of last season because of back surgery, to lead a revival in 2022-23.

Ain’t happening.

The Flyers’ top-line center is sidelined with what Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher called an upper-body injury on Monday. It is believed to be related to his surgically repaired back.

He will be re-evaluated during training camp and is considered week to week. It sounds like he will be out for a while.

If Couturier is sidelined, Kevin Hayes would become the No. 1 center, and Scott Laughton would probably be the 2C. He was expected to be the second-line left winger. Morgan Frost, Patrick Brown and Tanner Laczynski would compete for the other center spots. Artem Anisimov, 34, who will be in camp on a PTO contract, is another option.

This team is officially cursed.

Injuries played a huge part in the Philadelphia Flyers’ ugly 2021-22 season. In the summer, Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink were injured while working out, and goalie Ivan Fedotov was lost to the Russian military. In addition, defenseman Ryan Ellis (pelvic injury) is still sidelined and is not expected to be ready any time soon. And the lack of cap space prevented Philly from making a big splash in the free-agent and trade markets.

The race for the right to draft center Connor Bedard, a generational player, is starting to look like less of a long shot.

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers are seeking a second opinion to determine the exact nature of Couturier’s injury, which is is the same area as his previous back issues. There is not yet certainty that it’s the same injury, but it sure sounds related.

Anthony SanFilippo of Crossing Broad said he was told it was a herniated disc in Couturier’s back.

Couturier had back surgery in February. He met with the media last week and said he felt 100 percent healthy and was “ready to go.” He also said the Flyers had cleared him to play two weeks ago, and that he felt “back to normal.”

He had been skating at the Flyers’ Voorhees practice facility, but he suffered a setback since he addressed the media. That setback will probably sideline him for a while, and it could prevent the Philadelphia Flyers from naming him captain.

Couturier, 29, is in the first season of an eight-year, $62 million contract that has an annual cap hit of $7.75 million, the highest on the team.

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