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Keith Jones: Couturier, Atkinson ‘Full-Go’ for Training Camp; Ellis’ Career Over?

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NHL Trade Talk, Flyers trade options. Ryan Ellis (AP photo)
Ryan Ellis (AP photo)

Throughout the offseason, Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson were thought to be ready and healthy for Philadelphia Flyers training camp.

Team president Keith Jones confirmed that Wednesday.

“The end of last season, they were ready to come back then,” Jones told Adam Kimelman, of NHL.com, at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich.

“So now they’re getting a full offseason of training and getting ready to prepare for the rigors of a long regular season. All indications are that they are full-go, and we’re really excited about that.”

Several weeks ago, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere was optimistic about Couturier’s return.

“So far, so good,” Briere said. “It seems to be very positive.

“Spoke to him last week. He was gung-ho. He seems to think that everything’s back to normal for him, which is exciting for him and for us.

“So at this point I expect him to be on the ice for training camp and be on the ice for Game 1 of the season.”

Huge Help for Flyers

The addition of Couturier and Atkinson would pay dividends for the Flyers on and off the ice. Couturier is probably the Flyers’ best player. He is coming off two surgical procedures on his back that forced him to miss all of last season. He only played 29 games in the previous season.

Couturier, 30, has 180 goals, 280 assists, 460 points in 721 games. He’s also plus-82 over his 11 seasons. He is a former Selke Trophy winner.

Atkinson, like Couturier, is a strong two-way player. Both are team leaders.

Atkinson, 34, underwent neck surgery in December and didn’t play last season. In the previous season, his first in Philadelphia, he had 23 goals and 27 assists (50 points) in 73 games. He has 236 goals, 216 assists (452 points) in 700 games. He played 10 years in Columbus before coming to Philly.

Ellis’ Career Over?

Jones also delivered some bad injury news. Defenseman Ryan Ellis’ career could be over due to a torn psoas muscle in his back, Jones told NHL.com.

“We all wish for Ryan just as a human being because I’ve been through that at the end of my career when there’s uncertainty about whether you would come back or not and then dealing with the reality of not coming back,” Jones told NHL.com.

“It’s a tough time. It’s a very, really difficult time. I’m very sympathetic to what he’s gone through.”

Ellis hasn’t played a game since November 2021.

Ellis, 32, was acquired from Nashville in a trade in July 2021. He has only played four games for the Flyers. Ellis was expected to be a veteran force on blue line for Philadelphia.

He scored 275 points in 566 games, all but four with Nashville. He was a plus-114 and was a minus player only once in his career — in his second season with the Predators.

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