|2009 - Blair Betts||63||8||10||18||7||14||1||2||3:08||12:36||63||50.9|
The Flyers did pretty well for themselves with this training camp non-roster invitee. In fact, many of us were upset it took so long to sign the guy. And he didn't disappoint.
Despite missing nearly 20 games with shoulder injuries - which could still be very serious - Betts set career highs in assists, points, plus/minus, and game winning goals. In fact, Betts probably had the best offensive year of his career (outside of a 9 game stint in 02-03 with Calgary) while not being asked to do anything in the offensive zone.
He had an offensive zone start of just under 33%, meaning for every time he started in the offensive zone, he was in the defensive zone twice. That's remarkable. In fact, he had the 14th lowest percentage among NHL forwards with 60 games played.
Despite starting in the defensive zone so often and playing against strong opposition, Betts still outscored his opponents. That's not bad for a fourth-line penalty kill specialist. Maybe his faceoffs could improve, but better than fifty percent isn't bad.
Betts got a contract extension during the season and, if he stays healthy, will be a pretty solid bargain. Having a veteran center who can kill penalties, be defensively responsible, and chip in 15 points is pretty valuable to a team, probably more than $700,000 a year.
The problem, naturally, is Betts' shoulder. He had surgery over the summer in an attempt to fix whatever problem caused his shoulder to continually separate. If the surgery solves the problem, the Flyers have a steal on their fourth-line.
He gets an A- and not an A largely because of the injuries and medicore faceoff numbers. But I'm a stickler, which we've already been over. Betts is a great addition but we all know he's Robin to Ian Laperriere's Batman. Not that there's anything wrong with that.