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NHL Notebook: Team Canada wins Hlinka Gretzky Cup and Philadelphia Flyers’ Ryan Ellis ‘likely done,’ as others expected to return for camp

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Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
8 months ago
Team Canada won its 24th Hlinka Gretzky Cup Gold Medal Saturday night taking home the top hardware for the second year in a row.
The Canadians won it tensely, beating Czechia 3-2 in overtime at the tournament on their home soil.
Czechia took an early lead in the game, but Canada responded with two goals to make it 2-1 after the second frame. Heading into the third, the teams traded chances with both goaltenders — Czechia’s Jakub Milota and Canada’s Carter George — standing on their heads.
Heading down to the wire it was Czechia’s Matej Kubiesa who scored with four minutes left in the third to force overtime, where 2025 draft prospect Malcolm Spence won the game.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis:
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is the first event on the 2024 NHL Draft calendar, with a handful of top prospects – including Canada’s Berkly Catton and Sam Dickinson, and USA’s Trevor Connelly and Mac Swanson – taking center stage. The tournament also put a handful of 2025 draft prospects in the spotlight, such as Canada’s Michael Misa and Czechia’s Adam Benak.
Meanwhile, the United States won bronze for the first time since 2014 and their first medal of any color since 2016 after beating Finland 5-2 in Slovakia.

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Flyers updates

A number of updates on Philadelphia Flyers players came last week as the club will get back forwards Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson, who each missed all of last season with injury.
Both forwards missed the year due to back surgeries, but they’re not the only Flyers players that president of hockey operations Keith Jones had updates on.
Defenceman Ryan Ellis, Jones said, is likely unable to continue his playing career due to a torn psoas muscle. According to the National Institute of Health, the psoas muscle ” is among the most significant muscles that overlie the vertebral column.”
Last September, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported about the injury noting that then Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher acknowledged Ellis’ career was likely over.
Here’s more about Couturier and Atkinson, as written by Daily Faceoff’s Vasili Gianarakos:
Couturier has not suited up in a game for the Flyers since December of 2021. The center had back surgery twice in the calendar year of 2022. With the most recent surgery taking place on October, 27, 2022. On the other hand, Cam Atkinson had a back surgery to remedy a herniated disk in his neck on December, 21, 2022.
“The end of last season, they were ready to come back then,” Jones told NHL.com at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Michigan. “Now they’re getting a full off-season of training and getting ready to prepare for the rigors of a long regular season. All indications are that they are full-go, and we’re really excited about that.”
Couturier won the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward in the NHL in 2020. The center typically played for the Flyers in all situations throughout his career. With the forward set to make his much-anticipated return he should provide a boost to Philadelphia’s penalty kill that was ranked seventh worst in the NHL in 2022-23.
If Couturier can return to his previous form and stay healthy this upcoming season, the veteran will in all likelihood play a large role for John Tortorella’s squad. Being a two-time 30-goal scorer, he’ll contribute some much-needed scoring punch to the Flyers lineup as well.
Atkinson who had been an advocate for the Flyers hiring coach John Tortorella ironically did not play one game for his former head coach last season. The 34-year-old was initially acquired by the Flyers for winger Jakub Voracek in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Considering Atkinson was second on the Flyers in scoring with 50 points in 73 games in 2021-22, the winger’s return may add a much needed offensive boost to the team’s forward core. The Riverside, Connecticut native was recently spotted taking part in the no-checking Cap City Elite Summer League in Columbus during July. Where the veteran encouragingly stated he would be ready to go for game one of this upcoming season.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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