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Flyers re-sign Gustafsson: one year, $1 million

Jul 9, 2013, 2:54 PM EDT

Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Fleury Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to terms with RFA defenseman Erik Gustafsson on a one-year, one-way deal worth $1 million, the club announced on Tuesday.

Gustafsson, 24, enjoyed a successful 2013 campaign with the Flyers, scoring a career-high eight points in 27 games while averaging over 20 minutes per night.

He worked his way into the lineup in mid-February and was a mainstay through the remainder of the regular season, playing a career-high 25:52 in a loss to the Devils in mid-April.

Coming off his entry-level deal (three years, $2.7 million), Gustafsson earned a slight pay raise and should be in line for a regular role for the Flyers next season.

While the club does have 10 defensemen currently under contract, one of them is Chris Pronger (who will be placed on LTIR), and it’s likely that Gustafsson will pass (or, already has passed) Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon on the depth chart.

It’s also possible the Flyers will deal a defenseman in order to gain some cap space. Braydon Coburn‘s name has popped up in a number of trade rumors.

  1. narfmoo12 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Good deal for the Flyers. A cheap young defenseman who showed that he can be a top-4 guy based on the last month of the season and the World Championships. Move Meszaros and/or Coburn and he’ll pair nicely with Grossmann as the puck-moving half of a pair.

  2. chrisk61 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    yes flyers need to revamp the defense and have begun that process. added streit. drafted some D-men for mid to long term use. signed gustafson. timonen is most likely in his last year. they need to dump coburn and possibly meszaros. find replacements for those 2 disappointments, with the additional comment that the latter is too injury prone.

  3. ibieiniid - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    you know, I’m satisfied with another year of Gustafsson. early last season, i would have bi***ed about a re-up on him, but later in the season, he showed he can handle it, especially with a bit more experience. looking forward to seeing if he can carry on, and maybe focus a bit more on his defense while moving back into the zone and controlling the puck on hard passes.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Totally agree. At the beginning of the season Gus looked like Mez- timid, scared, and indecisive. By the end he was taking smart gambles and carrying the puck well. He’s a little like Krug, with less skating ability. Hopefully he lives up to his potential to be Timonen 2.0.

  4. 19to77 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    They have to be planning on dealing Coburn at this point. No spot in the roster for him, not with so many more responsible defenders competing for the minutes.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      i don’t understand how so many people are lower on Coburn than Meszaros. I’ve seen more character AND defensive production out of Coburn than Meszaros. and how many times can we see Mes(z?) carry the puck down deep into the offensive zone and just throw a pass back to nowhere or lose the puck behind near the opposing goal line before we say enough is enough? also, this isn’t mentioning that Meszaros is 4mil/y for 1 more season, Coburn is 4.5mil/y for 3 more seasons. Mes would be way easier to deal for more, i would think.

      i’d be bummed to see Coburn go. EVERY Flyer had a bad season this year. no reason to throw a good d-man away because of that.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        “–lose the puck near the–” *

      • narfmoo12 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        It’s not that people are lower on Coburn. Coburn will fetch a higher return. Also, Meszaros is up after this season and probably could go on the LTIR. That means the Flyers would be clearing even more cap space than moving Meszaros and being stuck with a few years of Coburn at $4.5M. All of this counts on guys like Lauridsen, Bourdon, Manning, Gostisbehere (sp?) being able to step up for cheap, or a desire to have space next summer to bring in other defensemen.

      • mattj2524 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        Agreed – Coburn eats minutes and limits his turnovers. He’s never going to be an offensive defenseman, but he’s a solid 4th defender. Plus you can count on him to stay healthy, and even play hurt if needed – same can’t be said for Mez.

        That being said, there’s no way you get more for Mez then you’ll get for Coburn. Mez goes to UFA after this year – Coburn you’ll have for 3 more seasons. And it’s no secret to the other GMs in the league that Mez has trouble staying on the ice. Coburn has much higher market value.

      • ibieiniid - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        true on the injury-proneness (wow, that’s actually a word and it means what you think it means) bringing down his value. i think “easier” to deal was more key for me. if I was a GM in THIS offseason, and mostly putting aside the proneness (yep, i’ll probably be using that a bit now) for this argument, i’d rather trade for Meszaros’ contract. if he works out and you like him, sign him before FA. he already makes 4mil, he can’t think he’d get much more than that on the FA market. if you don’t like him or he gets hurt, you’re rid of him and his contract when the season ends. after a rough season, you aren’t sure if Coburn will be worth 4.5 for two years AFTER next season. i just don’t see how the Flyers would find a trade partner after that horrid Coburn season TBH. i’d rather just let it ride with the better player in Coburn and hope he pops back rather than giving a trade discount to a team just to unload an expensive guy that you know would be playing more games.

        also, why are Flyers fans trying so hard to figure out a way to trade a d-man away? we need defense. if it’s a package deal for a better d-man, i’m with that. one of our top-4 defense-men for anything else, wtf would that do for us?

      • laxman1944 - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        A month ago…….TRADE him for a old puck.

        Now after reading some more into it…..He needs to stay. Hopefully a bounce back year. He just eats so many minutes and they have too many injury/old wheels to worry about.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Coburn has replaced Carle as the whipping boy of the fans. But I think it would be a mistake to trade him after one terrible season. 6’5″ defensemen with his speed don’t grow on trees. And he’s shown to be a valuable contributor in the past. Moving Mez for a 7th rd pick would be the best move, if possible. Coburn still has plenty of value, just ask Edmonton.

  5. laxman1944 - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Not bad……good number and the kid can play a little bit.

  6. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 9, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Gus is a mini Timonen. He won’t blow you away but is very smart with and without the puck. I hope there is a way they can lock him up long term. Moving some of the underachieving vets on the blueline is a good place to start.

  7. matthewmacisaac - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Carle should have been whipped. He offered no resistance in the defensive zone, EVER. There were the numerous, horrendous turnovers, and he played indecisively in the offensive zone. When the puck came back to him at the point, if he didn’t mishandle it and lose the zone, he would hold onto it allowing the defense to catch up to the play. I have no idea why he wasn’t benched/waived, because his play on ice was cringe-worthy every shift. Go back and look at film and watch how many goals were scored because Carle didn’t pick up his man. Stevie Y must be looking to get fired in Tampa. Signing a slug like Carle is a good start.

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