I recently stated that the Flyers had completed their last main priority for this offseason in resigning Travis Sanheim. After that and the signing of Derick Brassard yesterday, clearly Chuck Fletcher did not just kick up his feet and call it a job well done for the summer.
It was announced shortly after that fan-favorite center Sean Couturier signed an eight-year extension to stay in Philadelphia. The deal that he signed back in the summer of 2015 ends after this season, and boy did the Flyers get great value there. A season after he resigned (2017-’18) his offensive game exploded, scoring 31 goals and placing second in Selke voting. It is nice to see him get a big contract, he deserves it that is for sure.
Since that breakout season, Coots has scored 252 points in 276 games. Of course, he would eventually win the Selke in 2020 as well.
The version of Couturier since 2017-‘18 has truly been a joy to watch. Keeping Coots around is vital to this team’s competitiveness, especially in the short-to-medium term. First-line centers that do what he can do are not easy to come by. The only worry was nobody knew what the cap hit on his new deal would be if he stuck around.
Regarding the cap hit here, it happens to be identical to Svechnikov’s $7.775 million per year. It also happens to be a very good contract. I am a big fan of this deal. Not sure if Coots took a little hometown discount or anything, but kudos to Fletcher on this one.
Couturier’s offense has shown no signs of regression, last season he tallied 41 points in 45 games. No worries there. He is 28 years old and could very well win another Selke trophy in the near future. He is smack dab in the middle of his prime. If this team sees a strong bounce back defensively, Couturier being healthy will be an important factor.
We have had almost a full ten years of Coots. With this new extension ending after the 2029-’30 season, the Flyers are keeping a really good hockey player around for possibly the entire 2020 decade, if all ends well.
To summarize: Resigning a shutdown center and legitimate first-liner is a win, especially at a team friendly cap hit. Chuck Fletcher, well done.