Yesterday, defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon learned from team officials that he was cleared for physical contact for the first time in over a year, essentially meaning that he can begin to play full hockey again. The 24-year-old, who had been suffering from concussed systems since Nov. 30, 2012, was delighted to hear the news. “I’m glad I can play hockey and have a good life. I’m ready to roll wherever they name me,” Bourdon said, according to csnphilly.com. Read that again and focus on those last four words. What might seem like a sweet moment could ultimately end up being a bittersweet moment for Bourdon.
While he’s currently been loaned to the AHL‘s Adirondack Phantoms, right now it’s unclear if he will join the Philadelphia Flyers again–ever. The youngster has shown quite a few signs of promise, but with his contract expiring at the end of this season, who knows whose colors he’ll be wearing next year. With four other expiring contracts among their defensemen, the Flyers have a lot on their plate.
As far as this season is concerned, the Flyers might not have room on their roster for Bourdon. If an injury occurs, it could be a possibility, but the orange and black are in no rush to bring Bourdon back given the circumstances of his health.
Perhaps Philadelphia is just waiting for the inevitable to happen. Waiting out Bourdon’s contract could very well be the plan. After all, the Flyers did select four defensemen in last years’s draft. By doing so, they are addressing a position that needs as much help as it can get, but by spending their first two picks on defensemen Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg, they are projecting an image that shows their low tolerance level for distraction and problems at the defensive position.
On the contrary, Hal Gill and Kimmo Timonen are both 38-years-old and while they both bring valuable assets to the club, Philly’s front office may want to keep a kid like Bourdon around just in case.
Figuring out the conclusion to this mess will strongly be determined by the health of Bourdon, and whether he even gets another shot with the Flyers. Like most situations similar to this, fans can only wait and see what happens.