Last offseason, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Nolan Patrick and Philippe Myers to the Nashville Predators for Ryan Ellis. At first glance, it seemed as if Chuck Fletcher fleeced the Predators.
Then, Ellis played four total games in 2021-2022. Patrick and Myers both contributed more than 20 games to their respective teams. The Predators knew something more than Chuck Fletcher on July 17th, 2021. Sending Ellis for essentially Myers, Nashville cleared $3.7mil in cap space.
Ellis last played an entire season of hockey during 2018-2019. He didn’t complete the shortened 2019-2020 season or the abbreviated 2020-2021 schedule. Concerning his health, 2021-2022 was the worst of his career.
“It was, more or less, a multi-layered problem. It wasn’t just a one thing fix all. That was the problem, trying to figure out what was going on. It had multiple levels of what the problem was. We have a plan; everyone is very comfortable and happy with the plan. I’m excited, like I said, to be ready for training camp.”Ryan Ellis; 4/30/2022
Throughout last season, Ellis dealt with a “multilayered” injury. After the first three games, he left the lineup. A scratch for nine games, Ellis returned against the Dallas Stars, playing 18:45 in a 5-2 loss. He secured a powerplay assist on an Ivan Provorov goal. It would be Ellis’ last performance of the season.
It doesn’t sound like he’ll be available by opening night of the 2022-2023 NHL season, per John Tortorella.
“If you’re asking me right now, I doubt it.”John Tortorella; 8/22/2022
Included in that statement are the sentiments that Ellis likely wouldn’t participate in the 2022 Flyers Training Camp.
On June 29th, 2022, Fletcher commented on Ellis. There has never been a stable timeframe for his return.
“It’s still difficult, if not impossible, to predict where he’ll be in two or three months.”Chuck Fletcher; 6/29/2022
Tortorella provides clarity to the cloudy projection almost two months ago by Fletcher. It isn’t a surprise that Ellis is doubtful for opening night. Philadelphia made it clear when they traded three draft picks (2022 fourth-round, 2023 third-round, 2024 second-round) for Tony DeAngelo and a 2022 seventh-round pick.
The complicated pelvic injury is of a new variety for Ellis. It isn’t a recurring injury, according to Tortorella. Already missing 78 games as a Flyer, Ellis must have a smooth recovery. Above a point-per-game pace in 2021-2022, he could be a pillar of the franchise when healthy. He plays hard, which is the identity Tortorella wants to bring back to Philadelphia:
“You’ve got to remember what Ryan Ellis is; he’s a competitor. When he plays, he plays hard. He’s more frustrated than anybody about this, that it just hasn’t been able to get straightened out.”John Tortorella; 8/22/2022
He is right. Tortorella, in essence, explained exactly why the Flyers are very cautious and patient with Ellis. When he is on the ice, you’re getting a top-tier defenseman partnering with Provorov. Unfortunately, these large investments, whether by trade or free agency, haven’t returned the expense paid. It’s as frustrating for the players as it is for all invested in other elements of the franchise, from the front office to the fanbase.
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)