Flyers could be without Ryan Ellis for up to six weeks

NHL: MAY 23 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round – Hurricanes at Predators
NASHVILLE, TN – MAY 23: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) is shown prior to Game 4 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes, held on May 23, 2021, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire)

The Flyers dealt some bad news on Thursday morning, with Alain Vigneault announcing that Ryan Ellis is going to be out for up to 4-6 weeks.

This comes as a huge disappointment. Ellis was brought to Philadelphia in the Nolan Patrick trade and was expected to be a huge upgrade on the blue line. While that hasn’t necessarily proven to be untrue, his lack of availability has made it difficult to prove.

During the opening three games, Ellis was dealing with a lower-body injury that kept him out. He finally made his appearance this past Saturday against the Stars, only for the 30-year-old to injure himself again, this time more substantially.

The silver lining here is that the defense has been very solid this season. We’re only 14 games into the year, but the second-ranked unit is purring right now, with players like Nick Seeler and Justin Braun pleasantly surprising with their form, and the offensive output surging from a lowly 2020 campaign.

Patience should be preached here with Ellis. He still has six years at $6.25M remaining on his contract and is clearly a part of the long-term vision. There’s no hurry to get him back in the lineup because the rest of the group has done such a good job of stepping up to the plate. Justin Braun ranks fifth in scoring right now and it’s not like there’s a key area where the blue line is lacking. The question now is simply one of sustainability. Vigneault jus that’s to rally his troops to weather the storm for another month until they get their long-term asset back in the fray.

Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire