VOORHEES, NJ — Sean Couturier and Kevin Hayes shall be full contributors for the Philadelphia Flyers when coaching camp opens Sept. 21.
Couturier, who did not play after Dec. 18 final season and had again surgical procedure Feb. 11, mentioned he acquired last clearance about two weeks in the past and has been collaborating in casual skating and exercise periods.
“I really feel good,” the 29-year-old heart mentioned Monday. “I had an extended restoration. (It) took longer than I believed, quite a lot of ups and downs, however now I am feeling good and able to go. Excited to get going once more.”
Couturier’s absence left a gap at heart on the highest line final season.
Within the 29 video games with him, the Flyers have been 12-12-5 (.500 factors share), averaged 2.66 objectives per recreation and allowed 3.17 objectives per recreation. With out him, they have been 13-34-6 (.302), averaged 2.51 objectives per recreation and allowed 3.81 objectives per recreation.
“I wish to show that I am wholesome once more and I could be again to the participant I’m, that I used to be, and perhaps even higher,” Couturier mentioned. “I’ll push myself. I feel [new coach John Tortorella] is right here to type of try this, push ourselves, make it a troublesome (coaching) camp, quite a lot of skating and see if we’re in form. So, I’ll show myself like everybody else and simply attempt to present that I am again to who I used to be.”
Video: PHI@WSH: Couturier jams residence rebound in entrance
Hayes additionally needs to contribute after having surgical procedure thrice on his belly area final season. The 30-year-old heart mentioned it was the third process Jan. 18, which drained fluid from the adductor area of his hip, that helped remedy an an infection that had been the foundation of his points.
Hayes completed the season with 31 factors (10 objectives, 21 assists) in 48 video games, together with a team-leading 22 factors (seven objectives, 15 assists) in 28 video games after coming back from that third surgical procedure March 5.
“This was the primary summer season I’ve had in most likely two years the place I entered into the coaching a part of my summer season the place I used to be one hundred pc and doing every part and nothing was actually holding me again,” Hayes mentioned.
As a lot as his physique feels good, Hayes’ psychological method is healthier too, as a result of he can belief his physique once more.
That course of began final season and has been strengthened by how he is felt on the ice.
“There have been instances final yr the place I used to be leaving video games the place I used to be questioning whether or not I would ever really feel good ever once more,” he mentioned. “It was good to know that I may play hockey once more and revel in myself and never fear about my groins each shift I am on the ice. In order that was the principle motive why I got here again, and it cleared quite a lot of psychological ideas up for me, and I am hoping that it stays that means.”
Their teamsmates definitely are excited to have the 2 high facilities wholesome and able to contribute.
“It is enormous, arguably your No. 1 and No. 2 heart,” ahead Cam Atkinson mentioned Tuesday. “They have been each damage the entire season. When you have got ‘Coots,’ considered one of your finest gamers if not your finest participant, going one hundred pc, he anticipates, he dictates the play, not solely within the offensive zone however defensively, his stick is so good. And Hayes is so naturally expert. When you have got your two massive boys going it drags the opposite guys into the combat.”
With a wholesome Couturier and Hayes, there may be an inside perception that the Flyers may show the skeptics incorrect and return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after failing to qualify in every of the previous two seasons.
Along with the hiring of Tortorella on June 17, Philadelphia acquired defenseman Tony DeAngelo in a commerce with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 8, and signed ahead Nicolas Deslauriers (four-year contract) and defenseman Justin Braun (one-year contract) on July 13.
“I feel on paper we’ve got a very good workforce,” Hayes mentioned. “However I feel when you have got such a foul yr like we did final yr, it simply provides that to it. … I feel with ‘Torts’ main the group, it should be a tough however enjoyable coaching camp, and I feel we will type of embrace the exhausting work collectively and hopefully come collectively as a workforce faster than it might usually take.”