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Flyers’ Jamie Drysdale May Undergo Offseason Surgery

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Jamie Drysdale
Flyers defenseman Jamie Drysdale could "potentially" undergo offseason surgery. (Photo: AP)

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Jamie Drysdale only appeared in 34 games between the Flyers and the Ducks this season, and as it turns out, he probably should have ended up playing in even fewer than that.

During exit interviews this week, Drysdale revealed that he was playing injured for most of the season, and that an offseason surgery was certainly on the table.

“Not an ideal situation I was dealing with. Nothing to do with the trade,” Drysdale said of his arrival in Philadelphia. “Just kind of being a little banged up, being in and out, not really being able to find that consistency and play in games. Just looking forward to coming back to, hopefully, a full, healthy year.”

In a nutshell, that says that Drysdale was playing injured for the Flyers pretty much since Day 1. Is surgery going to be required to help clean up those issues?

“Potentially,” Drysdale said, nodding his head from side to side, carefully considering his answer before cracking a smile.

The good news for the Flyers is that the 22-year-old’s performances were mostly average, only stained by a disastrous performance against Montreal towards the end of the season. They haven’t seen him at his best, and they know this.

Flyers general manager Danny Briere, in particular, is excited about a fully healthy Drysdale after a full offseason with his new team.

“We all thought (Rasmus Ristolainen) had a better chance to come back. Drysdale was mostly looking towards a surgery,” Briere said, recounting the injury crisis in the late winter.

Instead, it was the opposite, with Ristolainen undergoing surgery and Drysdale fighting through some significant pain to return to the Flyers.

“He might need surgery on lower-body, like, core area. Jamie was pretty banged up, and it was impressive, the character that he showed,” Briere added. “Coming back from the offseason surgery that he had, being traded, trying to adapt to a new team. Couldn’t skate at 100%, and that’s kind of the key to his game.”

“I’m excited to see a Jamie Drysdale fully healthy next season. I think we’re going to see a different player,” Briere continued. “What it has shown us this year with him is the type of person he is; the work ethic, the character. Those are all the things we kept hearing about him that was really high, and that’s what he showed us. Most players would not have been willing to fight through and play through the injuries that he was dealing with. They would have preferred just getting it done and get out of the way. He fought through and put in time for his rehab. Not just for the shoulder; the other issue with the core area. . . I was really impressed with how Jamie handled himself.”

That’s high praise for Drysdale from Briere, and Drysdale’s concerted effort to make up for lost time despite playing through pain is admirable. The former No. 6 overall pick played 81 games in the 2021-22 season, but hasn’t eclipsed 34 games in any of his other three seasons in the NHL.

Here’s to hoping Drysdale comes back fully healthy next season and brings some real swagger to the Flyers’ back end.

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