Sanheim discloses broken foot affected last year’s slow start

Travis Sanheim

      VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim disclosed on Friday he suffered a fracture in his foot in the spring of 2022, which might very well have explained why he got off to such a slow start last season.

      The injury occurred during the World Championships (semifinal game) which is why he declined to participate in the tournament this year. This is the first time he’s gone public with that information.

      “It really affected my summer training,” he explained after a scrimmage on the second day of training camp at the Flyers Training Center. “I thought it was best this year to try to have a good summer. I wanted to come back (this year) and be ready to go.”

      Sanheim, 27, missed about six weeks of training and that kind of sidelining period can affect a player for a long time into the start of the regular season.

      However, he won’t use that as an excuse for his somewhat subpar season.

      “I got it healed up,” he said. “You go to Worlds and you come back and you’re already into June. You take six weeks off because you fractured your foot. It affects your summer training. But I’m not going to sit here and say it affected my season.”

      As it turned out, Sanheim did not register an assist in his first nine games of last season and didn’t score a goal until game 18. For the season, his 23 points were the second-lowest of this five full seasons.

      The slow start may have fed into trade rumors, even though he had just agreed to an eight-year, $50-million new contract.

      “Yeah, I didn’t see anything (in the newspapers),” he deadpanned. “I mean I guess there was probably a week there where there was a lot going on. I was on my phone pretty much every day. It’s not a position you want to be in but it’s a business. I understand where the team is at.

      “In saying that, I’m here today. There’s a reason I signed here for eight years. I want to be in Philadelphia. I’m excited. I like the group we have. Now it’s kind of up to me, I guess. I had good conversations with (GM) Danny (Briere), (president of hockey operations Keith) Jones and ‘Torts’ (coach John Tortorella). I’m ready to get going.”

      Sanheim and Tortorella didn’t always see eye-to-eye last season but the two had a good chat over the summer to smooth things out.

      “We kind of went over the expectations and understanding of each other a little bit more,” Sanheim said. “I’m looking forward to this year and kind of put last year in the past.”

      The two appear to be on the same page now.

      “I’m hoping to hit the ground running this season,” Sanheim said. “Not be waiting for anything. Obviously there’s going to be more opportunity. I want to try to grab that (opportunity) and run with it.

      “I want to be a leader back there, lead by example. And have a good season.”

      >York ready for more responsibility

      A year ago, defenseman Cam York was unexpectedly headed back to the minors for a little more seasoning.

      As it turns out, that apparently was a wise move to make because when York was eventually promoted to the Flyers, he played quite well.

      Now, as he begins his second season in the NHL, there is no thought of sending him back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

      With Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo traded and Justin Braun deciding to retire, York figures to have an even bigger role with Philadelphia.

      He was in good spirits on Friday while discussing his outlook.

      “It (a bigger role) is something that I’ve wanted for a while,” he explained after a late morning scrimmage. “Obviously those two guys (Provorov, DeAngelo) leaving, they played big minutes for us. ‘Provy’ was in all situations, Tony was power play. There are a lot of roles that aren’t filled right now.

      “My goal during training camp is to just try earn some of those situations that those guys had.”

      He’s heartened to learn that management and the coaching staff want him to add more duties to his work list.

      “I think it’s expected a little bit,” he said. “I haven’t had any deep conversations with guys. I know what I want and that’s obviously to play a big role, play big minutes every night. My goal this week is to try to earn that.”

      With that first season under his belt, York knows what to expect as well as what’s expected of him.

      “Coming into camp, you know what camp is like,” he said. “I think that helps just because you know how hard it is every day. You think one day is hard but the next day is even harder.

      “I definitely feel more comfortable. Last year was feeling it out a little bit. I thought he (coach John Tortorella) might be using me in a different way. Turns out he used me exactly the way I wanted to play.”

      This year’s drills have been exceptionally hard. York sounds like he welcomes the challenge.

      “Those tests are some of the hardest I’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s one of those things where your legs hurt so bad, you can barely stand up. You just have to find a way to finish strong and that’s what I felt like I did.”

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About Wayne Fish 2437 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.