The Philadelphia Flyers will be without one of their safety nets at forward this season, as head coach Alain Vigneault announced on Wednesday that center Tanner Laczynski will be out for the entirety of the 2021-22 season.
This unfortunately isn’t anything new for the 24-year-old, as just last season he had to undergo hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in April, cutting that campaign short. Now just five months later — one month out of his recovery timeline — he has injured the opposite hip and needs another surgery, ending his entire season and will hold him away from a professional hockey game for over 17 months. This dude just cannot catch a break.
Laczynski was supposed to compete for a spot in the forward lineup this season and was seen as a potential offensive bottom-six option if the older veterans struggled to get going. Especially after putting up 10 points in 14 games with the Phantoms last season, he seemed destined to be the next-up kind of forward that could replace any forwards that got injured throughout the 2021-22 season.
He was dominant enough in the minors that he got a five-game appearance for the Flyers late into their horrific season, trying to provide a spark to the taxi squad that appeared dead in the water at times. And Vigneault seemed to love his brief appearance for the team.
“I like what Tanner did in those five games,” Vigneault said back in April. “Obviously it’s a very small sample, a very small segment, but he did do all of the things that Chuck had said and Flahrsy had said: good two-way guy, smart, plays that 200-foot game. Hopefully he gets back to 100 percent here in the next four months and he’s ready for training camp next year, we have a normal camp and he can show us what he can do.”
It’s just one of those times where you want a player to succeed beyond any injury trouble but it keeps on nagging at them and bringing them out of the game for lengthy streaks of time.
This coming just weeks after budding work-ethic star Wade Allison suffered an unfortunate injury during the Flyers’ prospect showcase and is out indefinitely. Two young forwards that could have made quite an impression as the types of players coaches love to coach, are now out for a significant amount of time.
At least there are other guys for the Flyers to play. That’s us trying to be optimistic.