Flyers center Sean Couturier had been skating for the last few weeks with the hopes of returning to the lineup before the end of the season. Those plans have now changed as head coach John Tortorella told reporters, including Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic (Twitter link) that the 30-year-old has now been shut down for the season. The good news for the Flyers is that Couturier hasn’t suffered a setback. Instead, the team simply decided that there wasn’t much benefit to bringing him back for a few games and that it would be better for the veteran to simply focus on continuing to rehab the back injury that has sidelined him since training camp. Suffice it to say, this was not the way anyone in the organization hoped that the first season of Couturier’s eight-year, $62MM contract was going to go.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference:
- Capitals defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk will miss at least a week due to an upper-body injury, notes Roman Stubbs of The Washington Post (Twitter link). The 31-year-old suffered the injury late in Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay. While Washington has struggled a bit this year, this season has been a good one individually for van Riemsdyk as he has set career highs offensively with seven goals and 23 points while averaging over 19 minutes a night for only the second time. That helped him earn a three-year, $9MM extension last month.
- Still with Washington, winger Sonny Milano was a full participant in practice today and is trending towards playing tomorrow, relays Matt Weyrich of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). The 26-year-old has been a nice bargain for the Capitals this season, collecting 32 points in 58 games, a nice return on a league minimum contract. He, too, has a three-year extension in hand already, one that will carry a $1.9MM AAV starting next season.
- The Canadiens announced that winger Rafael Harvey-Pinard won’t play tonight due to a minor injury. The rookie has impressed since being recalled in January, picking up 14 goals, 55 hits, and 55 blocks in 32 games. Winger Joel Armia will return after missing more than a month with an upper respiratory infection. Meanwhile, blueliner David Savard will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury.