The carousel is winding up again. When free agency opens on Oct. 9 — or during the draft three days prior — there will no doubt be some goaltenders shuffled around and many will land with new teams, but you can cross the Philadelphia Flyers off the list of teams looking to add a goalie.
On Saturday, the team announced that they have signed Brian Elliott to a one-year extension.
The contract will hold a cap hit of $1.5-million, a decrease from his $2-million AAV last season. Elliott was set to become an unrestricted free agent next week.
“Brian is a quality, veteran goaltender who is also an important part of our leadership group. His preparation and work ethic are exemplary,” said Fletcher in the release. ”With Brian and Carter, we believe we have a strong goaltending duo who have each had success and work very well with each other.”
The Newmarket, Ont. native and Carter Hart reportedly have a very good relationship and the team no doubt views him as a positive presence behind the scenes.
“I’m proud to remain with the Flyers,” said the newly-signed Elliott. ”I believe in this group and I’m excited for the future and what we can do as a team.”
The 35-year-old’s season was not particularly outstanding. During the shortened regular season, Elliott boasted an .899 save percentage and a -6.77 goals saved above expected in 31 games, four of those being in relief appearances. It’s certainly below-average numbers for a backup goaltender, but considering how he stepped in during Carter Hart’s injury last January, it could mean more beyond the numbers.
The Flyers earned 8 of a possible 12 points during that month, giving them that boost in the standings and leaving them in a position to get a bye into the first round. Of course, we didn’t even know that there would be a playoff round before the first at that time, but still, Elliott demonstrated some ability to earn some trust as the backup during that stretch.
This will be Elliott’s fourth season with the Flyers, after appearing in 100 regular season games, posting a .906 save percentage and 2.80 goals against average during that span.
With their secondary goaltender locked up, the Flyers now have just over $4.7 million in cap space to sign their remaining restricted free agents in Nolan Patrick and Philippe Myers, at the very least.
As always, this will be an interesting offseason for the Flyers if the rumors are true.