37-year-old P.J. Axelsson is attempting an NHL return to finish his playing career, and according to a report, the Philadelphia Flyers are one of at least two teams interested in his services.
CSN New England reported Tuesday morning that Axelsson is exploring his NHL options this summer and according to Rob Simpson, a reporter at various outlets including NHL Network and NESN, the Flyers are indeed interested.
Axelsson played 797 NHL regular season games between 1997 and 2009, all with the Boston Bruins. He scored 103 goals and 187 assists in those games. He's played the last three seasons with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League, where he's scored 16 goals and 38 assists in 149 games.
He's clearly not much of an offensive producer -- during his NHL career, Axelsson was a tough mostly defensive-minded forward. A very solid defensive forward. That's the thing: The Flyers don't really need another forward with a defensive brain. They have plenty of those guys at this point -- Sean Couturier, Max Talbot, Brayden Schenn, Ruslan Fedotenko.
If there's a hole they need to fill up front after the departures of Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk, it's with a guy who's going to help put pucks in the net, not a third-line winger.
That's not to say the Flyers shouldn't show interest at the right price or anything (while remembering that he's been out of the NHL for three years), but I'm just wondering out loud exactly where Axelsson would fit in on this Flyers team. He does have pretty fantastic hair though, so that's a plus.