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Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren labeled forward Sean Couturier as an “untouchable” in trade talks this summer.
Granted, that doesn’t portend anything – ask Jeff Carter about alleged job security in Philly – but in Couturier’s case, Holmgren backed up that talk with a new 2-year commitment to the 20 year old.
The Flyers signed Couturier to a 2-year deal worth $3.5 million, which kicks in after his entry level contract is over in 2013-14. That’s a $1.75 million cap hit, which is an absurdly friendly number for the Flyers.
Hence, this is the bridge contract that takes the player and the team to the blockbuster extension down the line.
After a breakout rookie season in 2011-12 after the Flyers selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Couturier had four goals an 11 assists for 15 points in 46 games last season.
Many perceived this to be a down season for Couturier, but it wasn’t very far off his offensive pace from his rookie season, and he still played big minutes in the defensive end of the ice for the Flyers, usually against top competition, and fared very well.
Couturier’s work in the Flyers’ quarterfinals win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012 redefined his career. His defensive work against Evgeni Malkin in that series showed he could handle that role well, bringing some offensive counter-punch to the ice too.
Nice deal for the Flyers here. He’ll outplay that cap hit.