Nashville Predators: The Ryan Ellis Injury Outlook Keeps Getting Grimmer

Sep 28, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (94) against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (94) against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The news keeps getting worse and worse for Ryan Ellis and his future playing career after having so many great years for the Nashville Predators before being traded in 2021.

According to Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher, Ellis will likely miss the entirety of the 2022-23 season, and it’s even possible that Ellis’ NHL career is over.

It’s a very complex and complicated injury that Ellis is dealing with, and the rehab process just isn’t going according to plan. This is why it’s feared that he may never play in the NHL again. It’s not straightforward like some injuries that have a direct timeline of healing.

This quote from Fletcher is particularly hard to read as he thinks Ellis never expected to be traded from the Predators to begin with:

 “I don’t think he ever expected to be traded from Nashville, I think he thought he’d be a Predator forever. He got over the initial shock of being traded, he came here, he dove right in, was a great teammate, took Ivan Provorov under his wing.”– Flyers GM on Ryan Ellis

Just terrible news for such a great player and teammate who had a profound impact on the Nashville Predators, playing a decade for the organization and being a key part in the team becoming legit contenders in the postseason.

Ellis was a core piece of the Nashville Predators for many years

I remember Ellis as a smart defensive player with all the intangibles you want as a head coach. He was captain material for the Nashville Predators even though he never had the official captain’s role.

All the diehard Predators fans remember Ellis’ beard that made him a fan favorite very quickly. He was part of a formidable defensive core that at one time also included Shea Weber, P.K. Subban, Roman Josi, and Mattias Ekholm.

On the power play, Ellis had a lethal one-timer that helped him to 20 goals with the man advantage, and 75 goals overall with the Predators. He’s ninth on the Predators all-time list in points with 270, ninth in assists with 195, and the leader all-time in plus/minus at +114.

Ellis’ best season isn’t that far behind him when in 2018-19 he put up a career high 41 points while playing in all 82 games and averaging right at 24 minutes of ice per game, also a career high.

The Nashville Predators front office had to eventually make a hard business decision to part ways with Ellis, and now it looks like a wise move despite the unfortunate aftermath for Ellis. It was the right decision as the Predators were shifting to a younger model, and perhaps the front office knew something that us outsiders didn’t know.

Ellis played just four games for the Flyers last season after coming to them in the three-way trade involving the Predators and the Vegas Golden Knights. The Predators ended up with Phillippe Myers, who is no longer with them, and their hopeful crown jewel of the trade in Cody Glass.

Next. Preseason Doubleheader Preview: Preds vs. Panthers. dark

Glass was the main piece in the trade and has high expectations to be a key part of the Predators lineup this season. He has a very high ceiling going into 2022-23.

I’m hoping for nothing but the best for Ellis to somehow recover from this and eventually able to play again, even if it’s not at a high level. You just hate to see any player, much less a player as classy as Ellis has always been, have his career cut so short.

Ellis is just 31 and should normally still have a few good years left in him at least. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that he can battle through this and get back on the ice.

At some point down the road, when Ellis finally hangs up the skates, the Nashville Predators should welcome him back to a game and give him a long pre-game tribute for everything he did for this franchise.