Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced today the following injury update on forward Sean Couturier:
Sean Couturier will be out approximately four weeks with a lower body injury.
Couturier enters his eighth season with the Flyers and in the NHL. Last season, he recorded new career highs with 31 goals and 45 assists for 76 points having played in all 82 regular season games.
He also led the Flyers in scoring in the playoffs with nine points in five games of their first round series vs. Pittsburgh where he posted five goals and four assists.
Following the season, Couturier was a finalist, and eventual runner-up, for the Frank J. Selke Trophy awarded by the NHL as the "best defensive forward".
Couturier also led the Flyers with a plus-minus rating of +34, which finished in a tie for third among all NHL players and was the highest total for a Flyer since the 1998-99 season (Lindros, +35).
He also led all Flyers forwards, and finished third among all NHL forwards, in average ice-time per-game at nearly 22 minutes (21:35).
UPDATED: Hextall updated the media via conference call soon after the announcement. Here are a few takeaways from the call:
* The injury occurred on August 10 in a recreational game in Quebec. It is not a "re-injury" of the one suffered in the playoffs vs. Pittsburgh. In fact, he was back to 100 percent by the time this injury occurred.
"We anticipate Sean participating partially at the start of training camp and then approximately halfway through camp we believe he'll be full-go and participating in the last number of preseason games."
* At training camp itself, which opens on Friday, Sept. 14, Hextall added that Couturier will be there and anticipates him either in a no-contact situation, skating the first 15-20 minutes or skate on his own prior to the full group.
"Right now we anticipate him participating in some drills at the beginning of training camp, but not all... our timeline right now is that he would participate in the back end of the preseason games. Somewhere in the 2, 3, 4, not the first four [games]."
* As for any lineup maneuvering that could occur, Hextall didn't anticipate a major change happening such as captain Claude Giroux moving back to center to start.
"We've got enough centers to take a look at it. It's the one position we have to sort out, so we've got enough guys - Jordan Weal, Scott Laughton, Jori Lehtera and a couple of our kids so we've got enough players to fill, and again, we need to look at some of those guys at that position so I don't see that being an issue."