"He played in a lot of games and [brings] a lot of experience and a lot of character," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, whose squad lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in last season's Stanley Cup Finals in six games. "Certainly, we are counting on him to play a steady role on this team."
The 6-foot-3, 237-pound defenseman played in Los Angeles last season and won a Stanley Cup with close friend and current Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger in Anaheim in 2007.
The Ottawa native was fourth on the Kings with a plus-14 rating in 78 games last season. Pretty much a stay-at-home defenseman, he has only 30 career goals in 1,092 NHL games during stops in Los Angeles, Minnesota, New Jersey, Boston, Phoenix and Anaheim.
O'Donnell came to the Flyers fully aware that he must fight for a regular job as a defenseman. He has been battling Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis for the No. 6 position alongside Andrej Meszaros.
But O'Donnell isn't concerned with the amount of playing time he receives.
"The reason why we chose Philly is because I thought it would be a good fit," he said. "And I also felt with my age and the amount that I play that I didn't have a lot of time left."
O'Donnell came to Philadelphia for the purpose of winning another Cup.
"I hope it's this year," he said. "This team will [eventually] win it. There's too many good players. I'd like it to be this year. I'd like to be a part of it."
Having lost in his first championship appearance, O'Donnell can relate to the heartbreak his new teammates went through last year. As a member of the Devils, he lost the 2001 championship to Colorado in seven games. Having since won a title, O'Donnell can relay the mental and physical adjustments needed to get over the hump.
"Not many people have won it their first time," he said. "It usually takes getting there, coming up a little bit short."
Flyers 3, Isles 1. Jeff Carter scored two first-period goals to help the Flyers improve to 4-1-1 in exhibition games.
Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky blocked 32 shots, lowering his preseason goals-against average to 1.37. He also has a .952 save percentage.
Forwards Ville Leino and Blair Betts saw their first game action of the preseason for the Flyers. Betts is recovering from shoulder and knee surgery, Leino from hip surgery.
Leino finished with two assists in 17 shifts. His second assist came on Carter's second goal to give the Flyers a commanding, 3-0 cushion with 42 seconds left in the first period.
Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.