Several former Philadelphia Flyers switched clubs this week, including a few that will return to the Flyers’ organization. The most notable former Flyer returning to Philly is goaltender Ray Emery.
Emery, who returned to the NHL with the help of the Flyers in the 2009-2010 season, recently went 17-1-0 with a .922 save percentage and a 1.94 GAA with the Chicago Blackhawks. After being paid $1.15 million last year with Chicago, Emery will receive $1.65 million on a one-year deal with the Flyers and a chance to serve as the team’s starting netminder, as both he and Steve Mason will battle for the job.
As for other players who will return to Philly next season, both Erik Gustafsson and Oliver Lauridsen signed new deals to stay with the Flyers’ organization for the next couple of seasons. Gustafsson, who had 22 points in 39 games last year with the Flyers, signed a one-year deal worth $1 million. Lauridsen, who had three points and 34 PIMs in 15 games with Philly last season, signed a two-year deal to keep him with the Orange and Black through the 2014-2015 season, as he’ll serve as a $600,000 cap hit for the Flyers.
In other NHL free agency news, one of the two Flyers that were bought out this summer has found a new club, as Danny Briere joined the Montreal Canadiens. Briere, who had three 25-goal seasons in his time with Philly since 2007-2008, will earn $4 million in both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. As a penalty for buying out Briere, the Flyers will pay the forward $833,333 each season through 2016-2017 without it hurting the team’s cap situation.
Darroll Powe and Arron Asham were both waived by the New York Rangers this week, as the pair of gritty forwards were members of the Flyers’ run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
Powe took part in eight games for the Minnesota Wild last year before being dealt to the Rangers in a deal that shipped Mike Rupp to the Western Conference. The former Flyer proceeded to take part in 34 regular season games and three playoff games for the Blueshirts, but failed to record a single point. Adding on his final four games in the 2011-2012 season, Powe is currently on a 49-game streak without a point.
Asham had two goals in 27 regular season games for New York in the 2013 regular season before he potted two goals in 10 playoff games. He spent the prior two seasons with Pittsburgh Penguins, where he had 10 goals and 17 assists in the regular season, as well as four points in the postseason. Asham is under contract with the Rangers for the 2013-2014 campaign.
Another NHLer linked to the Flyers was bought out this week, as goaltender Johan Hedberg saw his time with the New Jersey Devils end. Drafted by Philly in the ninth round of the 1994 NHL Draft, Hedberg spent the last three seasons with the Flyers’ divisional rival. With the addition of Cory Schneider to the club, Hedberg wasn’t wanted in New Jersey any longer.
As for other former Flyers, Nate Guenin signed a deal with the Colorado Avalanche. Guenin, who was a member of the Flyers organization from 2006-2007 to 2008-2009, was captain of the Norfolk Admirals last year and will most likely spend the upcoming season with the Lake Erie Monsters. He had four goals and 20 assists in 66 games for the Anaheim Ducks’ AHL affiliate. Before his stint with the Ducks’ franchise, Guenin spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations.
Carter Hutton, who played in a handful of games for the Adirondack Phantoms in 2009-2010, will serve as Pekka Rinne’s backup with the Nashville Predators. Hutton, who had a 2.71 GAA and .921 save percentage in four games with the Phantoms, has only one NHL game to his credit, as he stopped 25 of 28 shots against in net for the Blackhawks in the team’s 3-1 loss in their regular season finale this past season. He’ll make $550,000 next season.
One of Hutton’s teammates with the Phantoms joined a new team this week as well, as Jon Matsumoto signed a deal with the Florida Panthers’ organization. The 2009-2010 season was Matsumoto’s final year with Philly’s organization and ended a four-year run with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. Drafted in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft by Philly, Matsumoto spent time in the Carolina Hurricanes’ organization and the San Jose Sharks’ organization, as well as the Panthers’ franchise, in his time after playing with the Phantoms.
In the KHL, Branko Radivojevic left his role as captain of Spartak Moskva and will be a member of Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in 2013-2014. A member of the Flyers in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, Radivojevic has spent the last five seasons in the KHL, four of which were with Spartak Moskva. He had 21 points in 50 games last year for a team that finished 13th in the 14-team KHL Western Conference.
Ian Slater, who played in 32 games for the Phantoms and 31 games for the Trenton Titans last season, will join the Orlando Solar Bears next season. After one point with Adirondack and 10 points with Trenton, Slater will be a member of the Wild’s ECHL affiliate for the 2013-2014 season. The Solar Bears’ new coach is Vince Williams, who most recently coached the Titans.
Nikita Korovkin, who was picked 192nd overall in the sixth round of the 2002 NHL Draft, was released by Amur Khabarovsk in the KHL. Korovkin, who spent time with his third different KHL in as many seasons in 2012-2013, is a 29-year-old defenseman who hasn’t scored a goal since 2009-2010.