The plot thickens regarding the health of the defense.
“Andrej had successful surgery this morning to repair a torn right Achilles tendon. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Raikin at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced Tuesday morning. Andrej was injured last week during summer training in Slovakia. Andrej will be out indefinitely.”
The 26-year-old totaled seven goals and 25 points in 62 regular-season games last year, and was voted the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the club’s best defenseman the year before.
Injuries of this type typically take months to heal and recover, as we’ve seen from the journey Ryan Howard took from his Achilles rupture last October through his July return to the Phillies.
That leaves another gaping hole in size and experience for Philadelphia, an unintended nightmare consequence of not being able to retain Shea Weber through that offer sheet. This defense is in trouble without another temporary pick-up to take the club through the first half of the season.
It is highly unlikely that Kimmo Timonen, now the Grand Old Man of the Blueline, will be able to bear extra burden in time and contact, which, barring an acquisition, means the kids — Marc-Andre Boudron, Erik Gustafsson, Brandon Manning and Luke Schenn — are in for one heck of a learning curve should nothing be done.
It’s yet another ironic twist for a front office which just weeks earlier wanted to sweep in like a Robber Baron and snatch up free agents like jacks on the asphalt. Now, Holmgren must find what awaits him with other GMs while he has his hat in his hand, with genuine need. The terms will most likely be steep, just on principle.