With training camp officially kicking off in six days, the Flyers will be down a veteran defenseman when it opens up Friday.
The Flyers on Sunday morning revealed defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered a lower-body injury during an offseason workout and will miss approximately six weeks.
MacDonald's injury will force the 32-year-old to miss the start of the season. Based on the current timeline, MacDonald will miss at least six games but likely more. Things could change between now and then such as he could heal quicker or suffer a setback. The Flyers open the season Oct. 4 in Las Vegas.
What does this mean for the Flyers' defensive corps? MacDonald's injury opens up the door for Philippe Myers to potentially make the team's opening night roster.
During development camp in July, Flyers development coach Kjell Samuelsson threw some cold water on the notion that Myers would be NHL ready this season.
"If he had played a whole year," Samuelsson said in July, "maybe he would be close. But he was hurt a lot, so I think he needs more time in the minors."
Samuelsson's comment could be taken in a couple of ways. One, he wanted to lower expectations for Myers heading into camp. And two, the Flyers truly believed that Myers needed more AHL games. But with MacDonald hurt, the Flyers have just six healthy D-men.
Myers will have to prove himself worthy of sticking around during training camp and preseason. He's a unique talent as a 6-foot-5, right-handed blueliner with all the tools to be an impact NHL defenseman. Health has been an issue for him in his career.
As of now, the Flyers' D group, in no particular order, looks like this: Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Christian Folin.
The Flyers typically like to carry seven defensemen, so there is an open spot. Other in-house candidates include T.J. Brennan, Reece Willcox and Mark Friedman. Samuel Morin will be out until February with a torn ACL or else he would be the obvious choice.
Who fills MacDonald's vacancy on defense will depend on how camp and preseason shake out. If Myers makes the team, you would think they'd want him to play. If they don't feel Myers is ready, it would make more sense to carry Brennan as the seventh defenseman.
An outside candidate cannot be ruled out either. The Flyers could bring in a veteran defenseman on a one-year contract as an insurance policy.
But with MacDonald's injury, there is a door open for a prospect to make the Flyers on the back end. That's just another layer of intrigue for training camp.