Meszaros could miss season

Andrej Meszaros was expected to be a key member of the Flyers' defense. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

The Flyers' summer of discontent has gotten worse.

The team announced defenseman Andrej Meszaros had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn right Achilles tendon and would be sidelined indefinitely. The surgery was performed by Steve Raikin at Jefferson Hospital.

Last month, the Flyers signed Shea Weber to an offer sheet and envisioned having the league's best defense.

Now their defense is in disarray.

General manager Paul Holmgren, whose team lost Weber when Nashville matched the Flyers' $110 million offer for the restricted free agent, said he would have a better idea of Meszaros' status in six weeks.

It's not a stretch to think he could be sidelined for the entire regular season.

Last year, the Devils' Travis Zajac tore his Achilles in mid-August and missed the first 30 games. He returned to the lineup in December, then re-aggravated the injury and missed 37 more games.

The Phillies' Ryan Howard took eight months before returning to the lineup from a similar injury last October.

Meszaros, who will turn 27 on Oct. 13, was expected to be a key member of the Flyers' defense. He had back surgery last season, but was named the Flyers' top D-man in 2010-11. The latest injury occurred during a training session in Slovakia last week.

The injury means free-agent signee Bruno Gervais will likely be one of the Flyers' top-six defensemen, and that the club will be in the market for another blue-liner.

With Meszaros out, recently acquired Luke Schenn will probably move to the second pairing. If the Flyers don't make any moves, here is how the D may look:

Braydon Coburn and Nick Grossmann; Kimmo Timonen and Schenn; Gervais and one of three other candidates: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustafsson or Andreas Lilja.

"We have a lot of young guys we like," Holmgren said, "and we have four who have a lot of experience, so we'll see how it goes."

Holmgren added that Bourdon, Gustafsson and Brandon Manning "got their feet wet last year" and that he liked what he saw.

The best unrestricted free agent available is probably 6-foot-1, 205-pound Carlo Colaiacovo, who had 19 points and was plus-7 in 64 games with St. Louis last season. Montreal's P.K. Subban is among the available RFA defensemen.

Subban has reportedly said he will not sign an offer sheet with another team, but his negotiations with Montreal have hit a roadblock.

Washington's 6-3, 212-pound John Carlson is also an intriguing RFA defenseman. His production dipped as a sophomore last season (37 points to 32, plus-21 to minus-15). But he is only 22 and has loads of potential.

"We'll see what the rest of the summer brings," Holmgren said.

The Flyers were unsuccessful earlier this summer in trying to land free-agent D-men Ryan Suter and Weber. They also lost defenseman Matt Carle, who signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay.

Meszaros had seven goals and 18 assists in 62 games last season. The rugged 6-2, 218-pounder underwent March 21 surgery to remove a disc fragment from his back. He returned and played one playoff game against New Jersey, though he wasn't nearly 100 percent.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.