Just two days after playing defenseman Mark Friedman at wing in their beatdown to the Boston Bruins at Lake Tahoe, the Philadelphia Flyers placed 25-year-old defenseman Mark Friedman on waivers Tuesday.
Now he has a new home.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who hired Ron Hextall as their new general manager earlier this month, reportedly swooped in and claimed Friedman on Wednesday, according to Elliotte Friedman. The Flyers had just signed Friedman over the summer to a two-year contract extension with an average annual value of $725,000.
The Penguins adding Friedman to the roster makes sense. After all, Hextall, then-general manager of the Flyers, selected Friedman in the third round (No. 86 overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He was a big fan of the Toronto native’s game then, and he apparently still is now.
The addition of Friedman also gives the Penguins a little more flexibility on the back end. Brian Dumoulin and Juuso Riikola are both on long-term injured reserve, and Friedman has proved capable of filling in as a bottom-pair defenseman in the past.
So what does this mean for the Flyers? For one, it means they’re losing a player who was once considered a highly respected prospect within the organization. While Friedman never managed to contribute much as an NHLer, he did play an integral role for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL, where he’d registered eight goals and 44 points in 120 games since the 2018-19 season.
Friedman is far from an All-Star caliber blueliner, but losing a reliable organizational depth defenseman for nothing certainly isn’t ideal for the Flyers.