At the top of Hockeybuzz's Bill Meltzer's Flyers observations from this morning was the following note:
The Flyers have removed the day-to-day description of Sean Couturier's lower-body injury and have placed him on the injured reserve list. While they can back-date it to the time of the injury (he last played on Jan. 19), the fact that he was put on IR over the All-Star break is not an encouraging sign for his readiness to return to practice -- let alone play -- when the team returns to prepare for Tuesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Couturier being on IR is not something that the Flyers themselves appear to have come out and announced -- the last official statement about Couturier's status came on Wednesday, when the team announced that he would miss that night's game against the Capitals, and there was no mention of him being placed on injured reserve at that time. It would appear that this move was made at some point recently, without -- as of this writing on Sunday morning -- a formal announcement.
But Coots does have the double-asterisk mark on the team's official roster right now, which is used to denote players on injured reserve.
As Meltzer mentions, this designation can be applied retroactively to Couturier's last game played on January 19, which means that the minimum of seven days that he would have to spend on IR have already elapsed and he can be activated at any time -- in theory, even before Tuesday's game against Montreal.
But common sense would suggest that Coots being put on IR means that his injury, whatever lower-body ailment it may be, is going to keep him out of at least another couple of games, and that the Flyers will look to fill his roster spot with a replacement. Since the Flyers themselves have not yet made any announcement about this move, it's tough to know how much longer we should expect the 23-year old center to be on the shelf.
Couturier has taken a huge step forward this year, even propelling himself into what should be conversation for the Selke Trophy. The Flyers are
2-5-2 2-6-1 in the nine games he's missed with injury this year, so let's hope he finds himself off of IR pretty soon.