Flyers were not aware of Ryan Johansen's injury prior to trade

Prior to his trade to the Flyers, Ryan Johansen appeared in every game this season for the Avalanche.
Prior to his trade to the Flyers, Ryan Johansen appeared in every game this season for the Avalanche. / Tyler Schank/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages

The saga between Ryan Johansen and the Philadelphia Flyers has taken another wild turn. And this one could have major implications for what happens next.

Kevin Kurz recently shared that Johansen is dealing with a hip injury. He has flown into Philadelphia and will have imaging done with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms doctors. He was waived shortly after the trade and after going unclaimed, the expectation was for him to play in the AHL. It was to help get his career back on track. But, with Johansen claiming to have an injury, that has been halted.

Before the trade, Johansen appeared in 63 games for the Avalanche. He had 13 goals and 23 points. Johansen was even slated to play in Colorado's game on the day of the trade. So either he was healthy to that point or was playing through something. This is where things get more interesting.

According to Kurz, the Flyers were not aware of any injury before the trade happened. They were informed after Johansen was placed on waivers. Now, the time between the trade and waivers wasn't very long, but it is worth noting that it wasn't a known thing when the trade happened. Players typically need to pass physicals when traded to a new team. Either that didn't happen and the Flyers didn't care at that point. Or something came up afterward.

There was never any intention of Johansen playing for the Flyers. That much was made clear. Unless a team took him off their hands, going to the AHL was the plan. Rumors of a complicated relationship with John Tortorella arose. The two butted heads during their time together in Columbus. There was also the fact that with Johansen sharing the same agent as Cutter Gauthier, the team didn't want to deal with him. That one may not have as much steam as originally thought.

The Flyers have also stressed culture in their locker room. They are likely unwilling to mess with that with a player who has a reported history of issues with the head coach. And with a room that has meshed well together to this point, it is not a surprise the organization could be hesitant to mess with this.

Regarding Johansen's injury, the implications of it could hinder plans. If Johansen is injured and cannot return, the Flyers could not buy out his contract at the end of the season. If there is no intention of him playing in Philadelphia, there may not be a good enough reason to hold on to his contract. If they were able to go that route, they would be on the hook for 1.33M over the next two seasons. With the Predators retaining some of his deal in his trade to the Avalanche, they would also be on the hook for a potential buyout.

The Flyers could find it more beneficial to simply eat a full year of his 4M contract and be done with it after next year. Even if that ends up being what they want to do, his injury could end up deciding for them, though.