Marc-Andre Bourdon is one big wild card for the Flyers as they head into training camp in just three (!) weeks. Will there be eight defensemen competing for a legitimate chance to play in the NHL this season, or will there be nine? If Bourdon's offseason training regime is any indication, he's seemingly healthy enough to attend camp.
Bourdon has been getting massage therapy and skating as much as he can. He saw doctors again last month, has been in constant contact with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and been seeing McCrossin regularly in hopes that he can get medical clearance.
"Most of the guys skate only one month this summer," Bourdon said. "I skated for like five months in a row. I took a double portion this summer of training to make sure I was up to speed. I think it's gonna be good."
Bourdon hid a concussion from the team two years ago, so they're probably going to be extra cautious with him in evaluating him and clearing him to play. But he's been skating a lot this summer seemingly without setbacks from the two concussions he's suffered, so that's certainly good news.
It's tough to imagine the Flyers carrying seven defensemen into the season, let alone eight. They certainly won't carry nine, and if we're penciling in a lineup right now, we can pretty safely assume that Bourdon will be in the AHL, not in Philadelphia, to start the season.
Kimmo Timonen, Mark Streit, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann are definitely ahead of him on the depth chart, and Andrej Meszaros and Erik Gustafsson should be ahead of him on the depth chart, leaving Bourdon, Bruno Gervais and perhaps even still-unsigned RFA Brandon Manning competing for the eighth spot on the chart -- one that might not even exist.
Hopefully Bourdon is healthy and can make a run at staying in the NHL. Having an overload of capable defensemen, even if a guy like Bourdon is at best a third-pairing player in the NHL, is a good problem to have.