The Flyers have announced the signing of defenseman Christian Folin to a one-year contract worth $800,000.
Folin, 27, is a depth signing as he’ll likely serve as the seventh defenseman with a crowded blue line in Philadelphia. He is a right-handed defenseman who played 65 games with the Kings last season, totaling three goals and 10 assists while averaging 15:39 of ice-time with Los Angeles.
Prior to that, Folin spent four seasons with the Wild after signing as a college free agent from UMass-Lowell. In 118 games with the Wild, Folin notched four goals and 19 assists. He’s never been a strong possession player at even strength given his career -3.4 Corsi Relative, but he’s a big body at 6-foot-3 and more than 200 pounds who can kill penalties and step in the lineup in a limited role.
Since going pro Folin has essentially been a third-pairing defenseman and nothing more. He figures to sit in the press box this season for the Flyers unless he steps in via injury. The Flyers are mostly set with Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Radko Gudas, Andrew MacDonald, and Travis Sanheim figuring to break camp as the team’s top six defensemen.
Where Folin could impact is in the race for a spot against a younger defenseman such as Phil Myers, who is vying for an NHL spot this season after a strong — when healthy — campaign in the AHL with the Phantoms. But given that the Flyers’ current top-six on defense is very well set, it’s extremely unlikely that general manager Ron Hextall would have Myers slot in as the press box defenseman. For one, this played out a year ago with Sanheim and it ended up being a disaster with the likes of Brandon Manning and Johnny Oduya (remember him?) clogging up minutes with bad results while a young player who needed to play in Sanehim sat. Hextall is going to want Myers to play every night...wherever that may be.
Ron Hextall’s second signing in free agency isn’t nearly as sexy as his first one was, but Christian Folin’s signing does fill a need, though it’s a rather innocuous one. And hey, he’s not Brandon Manning!