Flyers sign Fedotenko, Gervais

Posted: July 06, 2012

LESS THAN a day after watching four important pieces — Matt Carle, Jaromir Jagr, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter — slip through their grasp, the Flyers focused their attention on adding economical pieces to their lineup on Thursday.

Such is life in a salary-capped world.

The Flyers signed two players Thursday, former Flyer Ruslan Fedotenko and defenseman Bruno Gervais, in an attempt to fill their holes on the wing and blue line.

Fedotenko, 33, signed a 1-year deal for $1.75 million. Gervais, 27, inked a two-year deal worth an average of $825,000 per season.

"You could argue that we lost a lot of good players, and we did," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a conference call. "But the maturation process of our group, and adding a solid guy like Ruslan to our forward mix and a steady guy like Bruno on our back end, I think we're a still a good team that has a lot of potential."

Fedotenko is coming off his lowest point total of his career, scoring 20 with the Rangers last season. That's a full 16 points off his rookie total with the Flyers in 2000-01. However, Fedotenko is a two-time Stanley Cup winner (2009 with Pittsburgh, 2004 with Tampa Bay) and he is viewed as someone who can play on any line and a character guy to help mentor the Flyers' young forwards.

"I wanted to go to a team where I believe we have a real chance to win the Cup," Fedotenko said. "I feel like maybe I come with a little bit of versatility. I feel like I can play more finesse game or I can play really defensive. I feel like I can adapt to many styles, I feel like I can adjust to a lot of different players."

Upon hearing the news, Max Talbot tweeted that he's already won a Stanley Cup with Fedotenko, and now he's going to win one alongside childhood best friend Gervais. Talbot will be a groomsman in Gervais' wedding on July 14.

Gervais (pronounced ZHUR-vay) is a sixth or seventh defenseman coming over from Tampa Bay, where he had to battle through a deep lineup to earn 50 games last season. Gervais has never finished an NHL season with an even or plus rating in seven seasons, the first six of which were spent with the Islanders.

"I knew I was going to have to fight to get my chance," Gervais said. "The second I got back in the lineup, things went really well. I felt really good and got back to the hockey I know I can play. That year really helped me get back on track."

Now, with free agency drying up, the Flyers' best options for improvement are on the trade market. No move appears imminent. Gone are James van Riemsdyk, Carle and Jagr, replaced by Luke Schenn, Gervais and Fedotenko.

"We took a couple swings for the fences early in free agency," Holmgren said. "We'll continue to look to see what's out there and what we can do. I really like our team, and I'm hesitant to look at anything where I've got to give up something to get something back. We have a lot of good young players that have tremendous potential. Quite frankly, I'm happy with our team right now. That doesn't mean we won't look and see what happens."

Jagr got antsy?

While offers were still on the table for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Paul Holmgren said the Flyers were not in any position to negotiate a new deal with Jaromir Jagr when his agent called on Tuesday.

Jagr, 40, will earn $4.55 million next season in Dallas, up from the $3.3 million he made last season with the Flyers.

"I don't know if he got antsy or what," Holmgren said. "I got a call late on the 3rd that he was getting excited and wanted to make a move, and I wasn't prepared to do anything at that time. I think it's a great addition for Dallas. It just got to the point where I needed to move, and he wasn't ready to wait."

Slap shots

Holmgren said the Flyers are going through a process to sign restricted free agent Jakub Voracek soon. Voracek, 22, has the same agent as Jagr, former Flyer Petr Svoboda. Voracek posted a career-high 18 goals in 78 games with the Flyers after being acquired from Columbus last summer. He is due a raise from the $2.25 million he made last season?…?Holmgren said he "tried very hard" to re-sign Matt Carle, who left for $33.5 million in Tampa Bay over the next 6 years. "I'm disappointed, but we'll move on," Holmgren said. "I'm happy for Matt. He was a good player for us, and it's not like we didn't try to sign him"?...?The Flyers will open their weeklong development camp for 43 prospects on Monday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. Their annual ‘Trial on the Isle' triathlon will take place on Wednesday in Stone Harbor.

Contact Frank Seravalli at seravaf@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @DNFlyers. Read his blog at www.philly.com/FrequentFlyers.

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