Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Flyers Hoping For Shortened Season Due To Mounting Injuries On Defense?

Published on August 13, 2012 by   ·   1 Comment

Nobody wants another NHL Lockout to take place. It nearly crippled some teams from a financial aspect last time it happened, so it certainly would not be good for the league or the fans if it happens again, especially if it wipes out the entire season.

But while an entire season missed would be awful for everyone involved, one team may be at least somewhat rooting for a shortened season.

That would be the Philadelphia Flyers, who have mounting injury concerns on defense after losing a pair of top blue liners over the past couple of weeks.

Now obviously, this is light-hearted. Like I said, nobody wants a work stoppage. Deep down, not even the Flyers. It would be bad for business. But they have to know that with injuries to defensemen such as Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja, the Flyers are going to struggle on defense at the start of the 2012-2013 NHL regular season, provided it does indeed start on time.

Meszaros was lost to an Achilles injury during offseason workouts that has him sidelined indefinitely. And just a week or so later, the team received news that Lilja has undergone hip surgery and will be out until at least December, although the team hopes he can return sooner. But at 37-years-old, Lilja is not going to risk coming back too early.

Simply out, beginning a season around the end of the calendar year may not be the worst thing for the Flyers. At least from an injury perspective.

Don’t forget that Chris Pronger is still on the shelf with no return timetable after missing nearly all of last season as well. And in case you forgot, or simply love piling on the Flyers, they were unable to land either Shea Weber or Ryan Suter, although it was not for a lack of trying.

Either way, the Flyers are going to struggle on defense the first few months of the regular season if it starts on time. They did re-sign Marc-Andre Bourdon, and could be forced to use Erik Gustafsson extensively early on at this point, provided they do not go out and acquire a defensemen such as Dan Boyle, Jay Bouwmeester or Keith Yandle. Philadelphia will also have to rely more on players such as Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossman, Luke Schenn and Bruno Gervais.

No offense to any of those blueliners, but that could be enough for the Flyers to place quite a few inquiries around the rest of the league as to the availability of a few players.

You can fully expect the phone to ring, especially if the players and owners can resolve their negotiations by reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

Which may not be the worst thing for the Flyers if it takes a little longer than the rest of us are hoping for at this point.




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