EDMONTON, Alberta — Brian Elliott may never be quite right again this season.
The Flyers' goaltender returned to Philadelphia Friday for what the Flyers termed “a scheduled medical appointment.” When Dave Hakstol was asked when exactly the appointment was scheduled, the coach was rather elusive.
“I don’t want to get into that detail,” Hakstol said. “I don’t think I want to go that far.”
It’s believed Elliott had a reoccurrence of a previous hip injury, particularly within the abductor muscles that helps the leg rotate and move from the hip. Elliott had skated throughout the road trip, starting in Buffalo Saturday and continued again on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But curiously he wasn’t on the ice during Thursday’s optional practice, an apparent scheduled day off. Hakstol had mentioned there was an outside chance Elliott could play at some point during the Western Canadian swing.
“We had Moose here with the intention to do everything that we could to make sure that he had every chance, if possible, to play on this trip,” Hakstol said Friday morning. “We’ve got our goalie coach and we’ve got our medical staff. He’s not going to be available for the rest of the trip, so he’s back for that appointment.”
With Michal Neuvirth and his wife expecting a child any day, it was imperative to have a third goalie on this trip ready to back up at a moment’s notice. Neuvirth had informed the team of this possibility and he left Edmonton not long after Thursday’s practice.
If Elliott had a scheduled medical appointment in Philadelphia that wasn’t planned in the past 24-48 hours, then it certainly wouldn’t have made any sense to have him on this trip at all.
Former general manager Ron Hextall initially gave Elliott a two-week prognosis, but it’s now been a month since his last appearance, and who knows how much longer he’ll be sidelined with this latest setback.
All of which is a clear indication that if the Flyers have any chance at salvaging their season, they need a veteran goaltender to step in and help the current tandem of Anthony Solarz and Alex Lyon.
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