The conundrum of replacing the offense and leadership that departed with Jaromir Jagr to Dallas has been solved.
On Tuesday morning, the Philadelphia Flyers made another stealth move to bolster the forward ranks, bringing in forward Christine Sinclair on a four-year deal reported to be worth $17 million.
“We’re thrilled to have acquired Christine’s services,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “Her fearlessness around the net, toughness and scoring ability with all parts of her body, along with her most important assets of Canadian birth and training, will be a valuable asset to our hockey club. In addition, at age 29, she will be a mentor to our crop of young, developing players.”
Sinclair was snagged on the heels of a three-goal performance in the semifinals of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament at Old Trafford in Manchester on Monday. Each of her three tallies gave the upstart Canadians the edge over the United States, and though the US prevailed, 4-3, in stoppage time following the second overtime period, she apparently proved to the front office what 30 remaining National Hockey League free agents could not.
The native of Burnaby, British Columbia — the same town in which Hall of Famer Joe Sakic was born and raised — jumps leagues and sports as the all-time leader for her nation in goals scored with 143. That would place her 19th on the Flyers’ all-time list, behind Ross Lonsberry (144) and above both Holmgren and Mark Howe (138).
She played for two seasons (2010-11) in the defunct Women’s Professional Soccer league with FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash. Prior to that, she potted 110 goals for the University of Portland, earing West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors three times.
Sinclair’s addition comes on the heels of revelations that free-agent forward Shane Doan apparently rejected Philadelphia as a landing point. Doan, according to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, has narrowed down his choices to the Rangers, Penguins and Canucks as the likelihood of the Coyotes’ ownership situation makes it unlikely he’ll return.
Sinclair has been given #12, the same as her Canadian national uniform. That will cast even more doubt over claims that Tim Kerr and Simon Gagne should have been the last Flyers to wear that number.