The hits keep coming for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Captain Claude Giroux and top-pair defenseman Ivan Provorov were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Tuesday, January 4th, along with one staff member. This comes just one day after Jackson Cates, Nate Seeler, and one staff member were placed on the list on Monday.
Giroux is in the final year of his contract with the Flyers and continues to lead the team. The captain has 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 32 games this season. This will be the first game Giroux misses this year.
Provorov has yet to miss an NHL game in his entire career and will see that streak end due to COVID-19. The Russian defenseman has been up-and-down this season, but there’s no doubt that the Flyers are a better team with him on the ice. Provorov has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 32 games this season. He had played in 403-straight regular-season games as well as 22 playoff games.
We thought the Flyers were getting some good news on the COVID front with Scott Laughton and Carter Hart clearing this weekend and returning to action tonight. But it’s one step forward, two steps back right now for the Flyers.
On top of the players on the COVID list, the Flyers are already without top-line center Sean Couturier due to an upper-body injury and top-pair defenseman Ryan Ellis, who played in only four games so far this season. Derick Brassard cleared COVID protocols but is out of action due to a hip injury.
Couturier is one of the Flyers’ most important players, if not the most important, and Ellis was supposed to transform the defense. Instead, the Flyers are now without both of them as well as their captain and other top-pairing defensemen.
Following the news that Giroux and Provorov entered COVID protocols, the Flyers announced that they added defenseman Cam York and forwards Gerry Mayhew and Max Willman to their active roster from the Taxi Squad.
York joined the Flyers on this four-game road trip in case he’d be needed, and unfortunately, he’s needed to replace Provorov. The young defenseman celebrates his 21st birthday on Wednesday and will likely make his season debut in his hometown of Anaheim. York played in three games last season with the Flyers, averaging nearly 20 minutes (19:47) per game. He had one shot on goal and no points.
The Flyers were already floundering and are now without four of their most important players in Couturier, Giroux, Ellis, and Provorov. The uphill battle is only getting steeper as reality sets in for yet another mediocre season.