Flyers lock up Sean Couturier with 6-year, $26 million extension

Sean Couturier won’t have to worry about a potential RFA contract cloud looming over him this coming season. The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Tuesday that they have extended the 22-year old pivot with a six-year, $26 million deal. That comes to a $4.33M cap hit, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

General Fanager has the year-by-year breakdown, including $3 million in signing bonuses over the first three years of the deal, which kicks in at the start of the 2016-17 season.

From the Flyers, who apparently didn’t read Sean McIndoe’s piece and failed to release terms of the deal:

Couturier, 22 (12/7/1992), recorded a career-high 15 goals and added 22 assists for 37 points in 82 games for the Flyers in 2014-15. Following the season, Couturier helped lead Team Canada to the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championships where he recorded three goals and added four assists for seven points in 10 games.

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Craig Berube is gone. Dave Hakstol is in. Couturier began most of his 5-on-5 shifts in the Flyers’ defensive zone, but he wants to round out his offensive game to go with his defensive responsibilities.

"I don't want to be known as only the shutdown guy like it's been for the past few years," Couturier said in April. "I want to take a step forward offensively and be one of the go-to guys when we're down a goal and need a goal or need some offense.”

We know his defensive game is solid and he helps drive possession while linemates benefit. If he can improve upon the 14 goals and 38 points he’s averaged over the past two seasons, this deal will only look better as the years pass.

Now that Couturier is locked up, Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn are left to re-sign. Schenn is set to be an RFA next summer. Voracek, meanwhile, will likely cash in with a big extension before he hits the UFA market after the 2015-16 season.