Brian Elliott, Flyers Agree to 1-Year, $2M Contract Extension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott (37) stops the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Wednesday the re-signing of veteran goalie Brian Elliott on a one-year, $2 million contract.

"Brian has played well for us the last two seasons," general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "He is a proven, quality goaltender who competes and battles hard every time he has the net. We are excited to have him rejoin our team."

Charlie O'Connor @charlieo_conn

That's with Schlemko buried, Aube-Kubel on the roster, and Hagg/Morin on the team as well, to clarify.

Elliott, 34, appeared in 26 games for the Flyers in the 2018-19 season, finishing 11-11-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. While injuries limited Elliott, the emergence of rookie Carter Hart (16-13-1, 2.83 GAA, .917 save percentage) means he will likely return as a backup.

The 20-year-old Hart is clearly the team's goalie of the future, though supporting him with a proven veteran backup in Elliott, a two-time All-Star, is the right move.

As Charlie O'Connor of The Athletic wrote in late May, the major concern facing Elliott remains injuries:

"Elliott's talent level doesn't require a ton of guesswork. In four of the last five seasons, he's graded out somewhere between 'fine' and 'acceptably mediocre,' never posting a year with a save percentage below 0.907. Even at 34, he's shown little sign of slippage when he plays.

"Of course, 'when he plays' hints at the key concern: injuries."

Indeed, Elliott has dealt with lower-body issues since February 2018, which has included two surgeries and quite a bit of missed time. Granted, those concerns are mitigated by the lesser role he's expected to play behind Hart next season. Staying healthy should be easier with a reduced workload, though it's just as unlikely the Flyers will want to overwork the young Hart in his first full season as the starter.

So Elliott will see plenty of starts. The Flyers are banking on him to be a steady if unspectacular option in those appearances.