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Jamie Drysdale Underwent Surgery in April, Expected to be Ready for Training Camp

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

The Philadelphia Flyers operate mysteriously when it comes to injuries and subsequent surgeries. Ryan Ellis initially comes to mind but just as recently as April, Rasmus Ristolainen underwent surgery on his triceps tendon and now it is being reported that Jamie Drysdale went under the knife in April as well for a “significant injury”, according to Adam Kimmelman of

Unsurprisingly, general manager Daniel Brière didn’t comment on the specificity of the injury. However he did make mention during the end of season press conference that Drysdale was dealing with a core injury that might require him to go under the knife.

“He got checked after the season and there’s a significant injury there that he needed surgery on,” Brière said Thursday while attending the 2024 NHL Scouting Combine.

Brière also made sure to specify that it had nothing to do with his shoulder – something he’s dealt with for a few seasons now. Drysdale was limited to just 8 games in 2022-23 due to a season ending shoulder injury and then he was sidelined for over a month this year due to a similar injury. He missed 16 games and the Flyers went 6-7-3 in that stretch.

“He wanted to play games,” Brière said. “He’s had a lot of injuries to deal with the last few years so he wanted to play, so I give him a lot of credit. He showed a lot of character, leadership, the way he handled it.

“He should be in a much better position [next season], should be a lot freer to play.”

So while it sounds like he underwent surgery for his core muscle, the Flyers don’t sound all too worried about his availability for training camp. Ristolainen is also supposed to be ready for training camp after undergoing surgery and it would represent his first opening night debut in his 4 years with Philadelphia.

With injury updates at the forefront, Brière also disclosed some information on Ryan Johansen. Acquired ahead of the trade deadline as a throw-in in the Sean Walker trade, he never played for the Flyers in what was believed to be because of an injury.

“He’s going through some kind of rehab,” Brière said. “He had an injection, claims he has a hip injury. At this point, honestly I’m not too sure where it’s at. We’re not sure if he’s going to need surgery, or if he’s going to be ready for camp. We don’t really know at this point.”

By some of the verbiage from Brière’s quote, it sounds like the Flyers don’t have a clue as to what’s bothering the veteran. There was a lot of discussion and confusion during the regular season and it seems to have followed into the offseason with the Flyers believing it’s a hip related issue.

Johansen played 63 games for the Colorado Avalanche this season before the trade and he scored 13 goals and 23 points while averaging 13:39 of ice time. The veteran of 13 years was acquired by Colorado last summer with half of his salary being retained by Nashville. The Flyers took on the full remaining $4 million AAV from the Avalanche and will be on the hook for it next season as well.

He further added that whatever happens with Johansen this summer will not have any effect on their offseason plans. Those aforementioned plans could include buyouts on players like Cal Petersen or Cam Atkinson, both of whom are on expiring contracts but hefty salaries for a club that is holding the most projected salary as of today.

Petersen was acquired by the Flyers last summer when they traded Ivan Provorov to Columbus as part of a three-team trade. The veteran netminder carries a $5 million AAV heading into the 2024-25 season but will more than likely be buried in the minors should the Flyers keep him around for the final year of his contract.

Atkinson on the other hand returned to the ice this season after a lengthy absence due to a neck injury. He missed the entire 2022-23 season and while he started off hot, his season took a tail spin. He scored 13 goals and 28 points in 70 games this past season, including just 5 goals and 16 points in his final 55 games. He also endured 23 and 26-game goal droughts, which were ironically sandwiched in between him scoring him 5 goals and 10 points in a 6-game stretch.

“We’re looking at every option,” Brière said. “Because we’re tight on [NHL salary] cap space, we’re still looking at every possible option in that direction. Both Cam Atkinson and Cal Petersen want to prove that they can still play in the NHL. So we’re evaluating all of that, but we haven’t made a final decision yet.”

The news on Drysdale is rather important, considering his injury history, the cost of acquisition, and the fact that he is supposed to be a staple of the Flyers backend for years to come. Drysdale struggled since coming over from Anaheim with just 2 goals and 5 points in 24 games with a -18 rating. However with more time to acclimate to his new surroundings, the Flyers expect big things from Drysdale in 2024-25 and his availability will be of the utmost importance.

For the time being, it “sounds” like Ristolainen and Drysdale should be ready for training camp and if that’s the case, the Flyers’ back-end will be better positioned ahead of Opening Night in October.

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