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Back Injury Likely To Force Ryan Ellis Into Retirement



Ryan Ellis
Photo of Ryan Ellis by John Russell/Nashville Predators

Although he hasn’t made a formal announcement to retire, the prognosis for former Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis doesn’t look good.

Dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2021 offseason for Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick, who was then flipped to Vegas for Cody Glass, Ellis has missed 160 regular season games since suffering a back injury on Nov. 13, 2021.

“We felt it was time for a change to our core this offseason, and we are really excited to add an influx of youth, size and skill into the lineup with these additions,” former Predators GM David Poile said at the time of the trade. “Cody Glass is a former sixth-overall pick who we think has a high ceiling as a center prospect.”

Flyers president of hockey operations Keith Jones told on Wednesday that Ellis’ career could be over due to a torn psoas muscle in his back. If that is indeed true, Ellis’ only contribution to the Flyers will be the one goal and five points he scored in the four games he played for the team.

“We all wish for Ryan just as a human being, because I’ve been through that at the end of my career, when there’s uncertainty about whether you would come back or not and then dealing with the reality of not coming back,” Jones told “…I think that he’s exhausting everything that he can in order to play, like we all do. You never want to have the void of not doing something that you’d love to do. And he did it very effectively when he played, so it’s got to be really difficult.”

Ellis has four years left on his contract with an average annual salary of $6.25 million, accounting for approximately 7.8% of the Flyers’ total cap space, according to PuckPedia.

Philadelphia also has forwards Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson on injured reserve. The trio combines for $19.875M against the Flyers’ cap for at least the next two seasons.

Ellis’ agent Rick Curran told Nashville Hockey Now that the he has been going through his rehabilitation process as if he could return to action at some point. Curran added that the 32-year-old defenseman has been focused on getting through his rehab, even if it meant doing so simply to live a more comfortable life.

No further details about Ellis’ playing future is expected to be made at this time.

Former Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher told reporters in September his assumption was that Ellis would not play during the 22-23 season, adding he had not heard of an injury like the one Ellis had suffered.

“A torn psoas is a very significant injury for a hockey player — a very rare injury,” Fletcher said. “So, we’re doing the best we can and we’ll just leave it up to the medical experts.”

Since the Predators acquired Glass, he’s scored 14 goals and 36 points in 80 NHL games and 14 goals and 62 points in 66 games with the Milwaukee Admirals. Glass, 24, signed a new two-year, $5 million contract with Nashville prior to the draft. He’s expected to play in the Predators’ top six this season.

(This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information becomes available)

Follow Nick Kieser on Twitter: @KieserNick

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