Sean Couturier would have been a restricted free agent next summer.
In yet another tidying-up move by the Flyers, general manager Paul Holmgren got a head start on next year’s chores by giving the 20-year-old centerman a two-year contract extension and a slight bump in salary.
Couturier’s new deal is worth $3.5 million with a salary cap hit of $1.75 million that kicks in during the 2014-15 season.
This upcoming season will mark Couturier’s final year of his entry-level deal with a $1.375 million cap hit.
He was the victim of a classic “sophomore jinx” last season with just 15 points -- four goals -- in 46 games during the lockout-shortened season.
His numbers were better with the Phantoms during the lockout --10 goals and 28 points in 31 games.
The reality is, several Flyers had subpar “lockout seasons” in the NHL last winter, not just Couturier. Yet, his campaign was in stark contrast to his rookie year when he posted 13 goals and 27 points in 77 games and was among the club’s most valuable penalty killers.
Brayden Schenn will also be an RFA next summer while Matt Read will be unrestricted. Look for the Flyers to lock up Schenn next.