It appears as though the Philadelphia Flyers have avoided the worst injury outcome (at least for now) in regards to Sean Couturier. According to Chuck Fletcher, who spoke with reporters including Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic, the veteran center will not require surgery for his recent setback but remains out on a week-to-week basis.
There was some speculation that Couturier could miss the entire season when it was announced that he was dealing with a back injury again. This essentially rules that out, though fans of the Flyers who have gone through the Ryan Ellis saga over the last year won’t be satisfied until they see the Selke winner back on the ice.
Couturier, 29, missed all but 29 games last season, which became one of the reasons why the Flyers struggled so mightily. Losing him for this season would likely have the same effect, even if John Tortorella’s new coaching staff can get the best out of the rest of the roster.
One of the most dominant two-way players in the league a few years ago, Couturier hasn’t quite been himself since winning the Selke in 2020. If he can avoid surgery and get close to that level, the team will have a legitimate star at the top of the forward group to build around.
Unfortunately, even if there is no surgery required right now, back issues aren’t something that usually go away completely. Given Couturier is only just beginning an eight-year, $62MM contract extension, which will carry a $7.75MM cap hit through 2029-30, it’s hard to know how much value the Flyers are actually going to receive.