Sean Couturier has always been a prized possession in the eyes of general manager Paul Holmgren, surviving numerous trade talks.
Couturier will now be in a Flyers uniform a bit longer. The Flyers have extended the contract of the 20-year-old center for the next two years following the 2013-14 season.
Couturier's extension is worth $3.5 million over two seasons. Couturier is expected to go into camp this season, his third in the NHL, as the Flyers third center behind recently extended captain Claude Giroux and the newly signed Vincent Lecavalier.
The Jeff Carter trade is the gift that keeps on giving.
Everyone remembers where they were when the trade happened, and know all too well the details of that trade. Jakub Voracek and a pair of draft picks were traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to Philadelphia for the talented center.
The 2011 first round pick, 8th overall, turned into center Sean Couturier, who made a major impact in his first two seasons. The less heralded third round pick (63rd overall) turned out to be another center by the name of Nick Cousins, who will be looking to make an impact in the near future as well.
Just one day after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, the Philadelphia Flyers are already being linked to a netminder that could replace Bryzgalov.
According to Josh Rimer of Sportsnet, the Flyers are discussing a potential deal involving Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. It is unclear what stage the talks are currently in but it appears that there is significant interest from both sides.
Miller posted a 17-17-5 record with a 2.81 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage during the 2012-2013 season. Over his career, the American goalie has a 269-164 record with a 2.59 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage. The American netminder made $6.25 million this past season and carries a similar price tag to Bryzgalov.
Miller was the 138th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft out of Michigan State and has played with the Sabres for all 11 seasons of his professional career. The former Spartan was a member of the silver medal United States team in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the MVP of the tournament.
The Flyers came to a crossroads two offseasons ago.
They could have gone in one or two directions. One side of the path had them rebuilding the team, pushing a youth movement that would make them a dangerous contender in a couple years. The other path was the same win-now mentality the Flyers have had for the last two decades, resulting in a couple Stanley Cup berths and a handful of Conference Finals appearances.
Unfortunately, general manager Paul Holmgren tried to travel down both paths at once and wound up falling flat on his face this season.
(Photo: Wayne Simmonds (front) and Sean Couturier (back) were both a part of the youth movement. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
Flyers fans will always remember where they were on June 23, 2011 when two of the biggest trades in team history took place.
In some ways it feels like an eternity ago, while in other ways it feels like just yesterday. But forget who and what left Philadelphia that Thursday afternoon two years ago.
The only thing that still matters most today is the acquisition of the 1st round draft pick that became Sean Couturier and the acquisition of 21 year old Brayden Schenn.
The trades changed the face of the franchise, and suddenly the Flyers became a team of youth with not only two but three of the best rookies in the NHL during the 2011-12 season thanks to those trades and the slick signing of college free agent Matt Read almost exactly three months prior.
That trio of rookie forwards shined in Philadelphia throughout the 2011-12 season, and the future was looking bright. But unfortunately what happens to even the best players in the NHL after a stellar rookie season is the dreaded sophomore slump.
(Sean Couturier. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
Martin Brodeur's win totals will no longer ironically be linked to the number of the beast.
Having been stuck with 666 wins -- ironically at that seeing as Brodeur has a big ole devil on his chest -- Brodeur finally snapped his six-game losing streak to earn his 667th career win against the Flyers in Philadelphia. It was his first win since March 23.
The Devils' 3-0 win also snapped the 10-game losing streak they were on, enabling them to leap-frog the Flyers in the standings.
Brodeur stopped 23 shots for his second shut-out of the season, also against the Flyers (3-0 back on January 22). For his career, Brodeur shut out the Flyers 11 times, and is now 47-30-6-3 against Philadelphia.
With a horrible season coming to a close, it's time to count the positives
The easiest way to feel positive about things in the present for the Flyers is to relate them to the future. And the best way to do that is to take a look at the youth.
We are seeing Oliver Lauridsen and Erik Gustafsson get playing time, the Schenn's (Older brother Luke and younger brother Brayden) are both standing out in a good way, and Sean Couturier is taking advantage of increased ice time.
Couturier, specifically, is fantastic news. He went from a dazzling rookie to a player in a serious sophomore slump.