Friday, July 5, 2013

Danis to the Flyers 7/5

Touched on this in the live blog (entering hour four and still going strong), but the Philadelphia Flyers made a big splash in the AHL free agency scene by signing goalie Yann Danis to a one-year contract.

This is unquestionably one of the biggest Phantoms signings the Flyers have made since the team moved to Glens Falls. He's a veteran goaltender who will be entering his 10th professional season and is one year removed from a career season in which he won the AHL's outstanding goaltender award.

One of the sticking points from this deal is that Danis is a veteran who has got some legitimate playoff experience under his belt. He has backstopped the Oklahoma City Barons to the Western Conference Finals in each of the past two seasons, including to within a win of the Calder Cup Finals last year. We had him ranked on the big board as the No. 2 AHL goalie available this summer.

There is not a lot of playoff experience on the Adirondack roster, which will inevitably happen when you return a bunch of players from a team that hasn't made the playoffs since moving to Glens Falls. But this signing -- plus the trade for top-line AHL forward Kris Newbury -- sends a pretty strong message that the Flyers are serious about icing a winning team in the minor leagues this season.

You've now got a center who has scored 60 points in three straight seasons and a pretty good AHL goaltender who could fill in at the NHL level if there was an injury. They didn't have either of those last season. The team started to turn a corner from their old development philosophy by adding some veteran forwards in Jon Sim and David Laliberte, but that wasn't until halfway through the season.

If Newbury and Danis both clear waivers, they'll have two established AHL veterans on the roster from Day One. Plus a lot of returning players from a team that started to play well down the stretch.


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