Philadelphia Flyers announce Sean Couturier will not play this season

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier will not return to the roster for the remainder of the 2022-23 regular season as he continues to recover from a back injury, head coach John Tortorella announced Saturday. .

Couturier, 30, hasn’t dressed for the Flyers since Dec. 18, 2021. The 2020 Frank J. Selke Trophy winner has skated steadily in recent weeks, but the Flyers chose not to risk firing him at play late in a non-playoff season.

Tortorella confirmed that Couturier had not suffered any setbacks in his recovery, which prompted the decision to officially shut him down for the season. He also has added that Couturier really wanted to come back this season.

The Flyers originally selected Couturier in the first round (8th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. The Phoenix, Arizona product made his NHL debut with the Flyers in the 2011-12 season and quickly established himself as one of the best two-way forwards in the league.

Couturier exploded for 76 points in consecutive seasons with the Flyers in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Then, in 2019-20, he recorded 59 points in 69 games en route to finally being recognized with the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward (he was previously named a finalist for the award in 2018).

The Flyers signed Couturier to an eight-year, $7.75 million AAV contract extension in the summer of 2021. Couturier has yet to play a single game on that deal, which just kicked off the season. 2022-23. It will be on the books in Philadelphia until 2030.

In 721 career games over 11 seasons with the Flyers, Couturier has amassed 180 goals and 460 points. He also had 10 goals and 22 points in 39 career playoff games.

The Flyers return April 1 to face the Buffalo Sabers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

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