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Recent use of Sean Couturier has Flyers fans worried
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Few people believed in the Flyers before the start of the season. Many online betting sites were predicting last place in their division.

But hockey is played on the ice, not in casino lines and pre-season texts.

This morning, the Flyers occupy third place in the Metropolitan Division, behind the mighty Rangers and Hurricanes. They’re ahead of Patrick Roy’s Islanders, the Capitals, Devils, Penguins and Blue Jackets. But still!

No, their playoff berth is far from guaranteed, but there’s still something going on in Philly

John Tororella, who has only missed the playoffs four times in his last 11 seasons behind the bench, has managed to unite everyone in the dressing room. And the players who didn’t fit in so well are now under other skies. #KevinHayes

And the players who don’t adhere to the team concept are in the American League. #RyanJohanson

Torts is polarizing, but he knows how to make all his players accountable and responsible. And when you see him take one for the team(expulsion, suspension and fine recently), it has a positive effect on the group. You can feel it in the locker room.

Except there’s something strange about Philadelphia: the team’s highest paid player, Sean Couturier, plays at the center of the first trio…

(Credit: DailyFaceoff)

But for the past ten games or so, he’s been averaging just 12 to 15 minutes a game, especially on the power play.


A far cry from Nick Suzuki’s playing time, let’s say…

And no, Couturier doesn’t spend much time in the penalty box, which might have explained his low usage time.

Couturier, the team captain, is only the Flyers’ fifth-highest scorer (35 points in 61 games), behind Travis Koneckny, Joel Farabee, Owen Tippett and Tradis Sanheim. Weird…

Couturier gets the best wingers, but he doesn’t play much…

Remember that the French-speaking forward didn’t play at all last season, and only played 29 games in 2021-22 due to a serious back injury. There were even rumours of retirement in his case last summer.

He still has six full years left on his contract at an average annual salary of $7.75 million. At 31 and with serious back problems, it’s a safe bet that he won’t be able to play all those seasons. But how many more will he play?

There are two ways of looking at it:

1. The positive: Couturier is coming back from almost two years out, and John Tortorella simply wants to be careful with his captain. He uses him a little less simply as a precaution… and grimaces when he sees him throw in the gloves. Perhaps a slight injury unrelated to Couturier’s back forced Tortorella to rethink his recent plans with Couturier?

2. The pessimist: Couturier has health problems that won’t heal, and he wants to stretch it out as long as possible before facing the facts and having to be placed on the LTIR. Being unable to play close to 20 minutes a game for any length of time, and having to be used under restriction, you’d think the end was in sight for Couturier. Perhaps Couturier’s back just can’t take 82-game seasons any more, and he’s floundering along the way?

I’m leaning towards the second option, unfortunately.

P.K. Subban, Mario Lemieux, Chris Wideman, Joel Edmundson, Georges Laraque…

When the back goes, the hourglass is turned upside down. Time is running out.

A doctor once told me that the worst part of an injury is when a joint is affected. A bone is “easy” to repair, but a joint is much more complex. And the back is the sum total of a dozen or so joints that are linked together in a very tight/dependent way.

Let’s hope the Flyers manage to make the playoffs in what could be Sean Couturier’s last year…

And let’s ask ourselves: how long will it be before the Coyotes pick up Couturier’s contract the day he hits the LTIR, hehe?


I woke up one morning in 2023 with a vision of doing things differently in 2024.

I’ve since launched a podcast with my good friend Jean Trudel(Stanley25), I’ve gone back to coaching a futsal (indoor soccer) team for the local public high school, I’ve bought tickets to lots of shows (sporting, musical and otherwise)… and I’ve accepted an invitation from my boyfriend Frank Grenier.

Which invitation am I talking about? To take part in his podcast Les Sport’ischhh, which he hosts alongside Martin Vachon (comedian, humorist and former Big Brother contestant).

The result is a superb episode that I recommend to you right now, if you have a few minutes to spare.

Happy listening!

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