Flyers Defense Takes a Hit As Parent Will Miss 10 Days with Groin Injury

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IOctober 17, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 10:  (L-R) Ray Emery #29, Ryan Parent #77, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen #55 and Simon Gagne #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers defend the net during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Wachovia Center on October 10, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In their first game since last Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers blue line took a hit in their 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday when defenseman Ryan Parent left the game in the first period, and did not return.

After the game, general manager Paul Holmgren announced that the 22-year-old will miss about 10 days with a "lower-body injury," which more than likely is a groin pull; however, Parent has suffered groin injuries before, and has recovered rather quickly compared other cases of groin pulls.

Parent, who was acquired as part of the Peter Forsberg traded with the Nashville Predators, has one assist with a minus-2 rating in six games. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan-native has had to deal with multiple injuries in his young career, including two lower-body injuries late last season.

A shoulder injury cost him his roster spot last year because of the salary cap, but he eventually did crack the lineup after recovering and spending some time with the Phantoms to establish himself as a solid shutdown defenseman paired with Kimmo Timonen when he actually plays.

Sometimes injuries can deter a talented prospect's growth, and for Parent, he needs to find a way to stay on the ice because he could one day become a top-six defenseman who excels at shutting players down.

In a game against the Penguins on Mar. 22nd, Parent helped the Flyers hold the two best players, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, in the National Hockey League to zero shots in a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh. While Crosby and Malkin each tallied an assists in that game, they didn't hurt the Flyers.

Parent has been playing in the bottom-six pairing this year since the addition of Chris Pronger has Matt Carle playing on the first pairing, and Braydon Coburn is with Timonen. His partner has been Danny Syvret or Ole-Kristina Tollefsen, depending on who was playing on any given day.

With Parent out of the lineup, Tollefsen and Syvret will both be playing, but it's still uncertain whether those two will be a pair or if Stevens will break up the struggling Timonen-Coburn pairing. In my opinion, I think it would be best to put Syvret with Timonen, and Tollefsen with Coburn.

For more Flyers' coverage, please go to my blog: Operation Orange Crush