Hey, that was Sean Couturier on the ice at Philadelphia Flyers Training Camp Thursday.
Surprised? Not surprised?
Couturier hadn’t played a game since Dec. 21, 2021. Since then, the 30-year-old has had two back surgeries. He missed all of last season recuperating.
What an introduction back to the Flyers: The demanding first day of Camp Torts, legendary across North America.
“I talked to him after. He felt good,” Flyers coach John Tortorella sad. “He struggled like the rest of them. It’s a high volume of skating but I’m sure he was fine.”
Couturier, the Flyers’ best player when healthy, knows he has doubters. He has missed the last 135 Flyers games.
“They have their reasons to question or doubt,” Couturier said after practice Thursday. “I know what I’m capable of and the kind of person I am and the character I have.
“Not only to them but to myself I want to prove I can be the player I was if not better. So it’s a little extra motivation when you hear some doubters.”
‘They’re Ready To Go’
“Not going to overthink it,” Tortorella said. “They put in a lot of work prior to us just starting here today. So they’re ready to go.
“They’re going to go to business just like everyone else. We’re not going to overthink that.”
Tortorella realizes the superior talent level he has in Couturier, a former Selke Trophy winner. The Flyers are trying to incorporate veteran leadership into their growing legion of young players.
“I’ve seen him as a visiting coach over the years and seen him play and always has respected how he’s gone about his business,” Tortorella said.
“I’m really anxious to get him into some action. See how he acts on the bench and all those things. I have a pretty good idea how he plays on the ice. I want to see how he goes about his business during the games, in between periods, in between games as the season rolls along.”
“I’m excited for him,” Tortorella said. “He’s been miserable not playing and I’m really happy that he’s put in all the work that he has done and now it’s coming together for him getting ready for an NHL season.”