Among all the negativity and frustration, there was a glimmer of positivity as the Flyers headed home for the off-season. And that came in the surprise availability of defenseman Ryan Ellis. Ellis, who had only been limited to just four games, spoke for the first time since November 13th.
After meeting with Chuck Fletcher to discuss his season, Ellis sat down with the media to eventually provide clarity on what had been ailing him since the beginning of the season. And it wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to explain. It took a moment for Ellis to open up about it, first saying that he wanted to keep some of it private.
But when asked again, it appeared that Ellis wasn’t exactly sure how to explain what had caused him to miss so much time. He described it as a “multi-layered” problem which woukd explain the reason it took so long for a diagnosis to come.
"”“It’s, I guess, the complex of the whole pelvic region, more or less. It’s hard to pinpoint everything.”"
Within the last month or so, doctors were finally able to come to a consensus on what the root of the problem is, which appears to be multiple issues in the core region. This goes along with what Kevin Hayes said in his availability about Ellis having an injury that may have been in the same area, but no the same injury itself.
Ellis, as well as his doctors, feel they have a strong plan in place that will get the veteran defenseman back on the ice for the Flyers. Surgery won’t be necessary as Ellis noted that nothing seemed to be broken enough to necessitate a procedure.
He expressed genuine relief and excitement to finally know what was going on. And he did admit that he possibly made things worse by trying to come back for that game in November. But there is a strong belief that come training camp, Ellis will be on the ice. And he could not be anymore ready for that.
"”I just want to play here. I want to be part of the solution here. I think I can really help out this team. My family loves it here. My kids love it here. If I were playing, this would be heaven for me. The only reason it is not is because I’m not playing.”"
Considering there were rumors that there was a disconnect between Ellis and the team, it sounds like he very much put those to bed with the amount of excitement he expressed in being a part of the organization. Ellis went on to say that coming to Philadelphia was the most excited he had
Over the next month, Ellis will begin to ramp things up with his workouts in the gym. A few weeks after that, his goal is to get back on the ice. The real test will come in July and August when he expects to significantly ramp everything up in hopes of being ready for a September training camp.
So hoping that all goes well for Ellis, what could this Flyers team look like with him on the backend full time? For starters, it could be exactly what Ivan Provorov needs.