Flyers Notes: Brian Boucher returns to Flyers in trade with Hurricanes

Goalie Brian Boucher is in his fourth stint with the Flyers. "He's insurance," GM Paul Holmgren said.
Goalie Brian Boucher is in his fourth stint with the Flyers. "He's insurance," GM Paul Holmgren said. (AP)
Posted: January 14, 2013

On the first day after the lockout officially ended, the Flyers made a pair of moves, signing unrestricted free-agent defenseman Kurtis Foster and reacquiring goalie Brian Boucher in a deal with Carolina.

Foster, a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder who was used on the second power-play unit during Sunday's first official practice, signed a one-year deal for $950,000. He gives the Flyers more depth and a powerful righthanded shot on the power play.

"He's got a bomb back there," center Claude Giroux said.

Foster, 31, spent time last season with Anaheim, Minnesota and New Jersey, appearing in a total of 51 games with four goals and 10 assists. He averaged 15 minutes, 54 seconds of ice time per game.

Foster said he has fully recovered from a separated shoulder, suffered in Finland during the lockout. He said he had a few free-agent offers, "and with Chris [Pronger] being out, there was an opportunity on the blue line and I felt this is a team that has some great forwards on the first and second power play."

Someone mentioned that Foster, who is expected to be used on the third pairing, was about the same size as Pronger.

"I don't know if I can fill his skates," said Foster, who is starting his 11th season. He played on the same junior team as Pronger once did. "I've known Chris a few years. He's always been good to me. He's a guy when I was younger, you definitely watched. . . . I'm not sure if and when he will be around, but hopefully, he could give me a few pointers on how it works around here. He's a player you look up to."

Pronger is still suffering from post-concussion syndrome. He is expected to be at camp Monday as a spectator.

Boucher, 36, who worked out with the Flyers' Lockout Gang during the work stoppage, was acquired with promising University of Minnesota defenseman Mark Alt (6-4, 201) for center Luke Pither (11 goals in the ECHL). He will not practice with the team during training camp and, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, will be sent to the AHL's Phantoms if he passes his physical.

"He's insurance," Holmgren said.

Boucher is back for his fourth stint in the Flyers' organization. He is healthy after having shoulder surgery in the offseason.

"Carolina had told me to hang tight and stay at home, so I got the sense I wasn't really in their plans," said Boucher, who lives in Haddonfield. "I'm happy to be back. The Flyers have always been good to me, and hopefully I can pay it forward."

Boucher's salary-cap hit would have been $950,000, but only $50,000 of it will count toward the Flyers' cap based on the NHL's new formula for players sent to the AHL. NHL teams can send players to the AHL and not have the first $900,000 count toward the cap under the new CBA.


Pronger's career is "most likely" over, Holmgren said. The defenseman has been doing some video scouting for the team. . . . Holmgren said he would confer with coach Peter Laviolette on naming a captain, and a decision could be made in a few days. Giroux is expected to get the nod. . . . Center Danny Briere will have an MRI exam Monday on his sprained left wrist. . . . Defenseman Erik Gustafsson, sidelined with a foot injury, should be ready to practice in two weeks, Holmgren said.


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