Defense was key in Flyers' win over Canadiens
Chris VandeVelde, who signed a one-year deal with the Flyers, was one of the final cuts in training camp. (USA Today Images)
Updated: 10:30 p.m.
The Flyers on Thursday signed left wing Chris VandeVelde to a one-year deal.
VandeVelde, 26, had previously signed a minor-league deal with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. He will be available for Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Wells Fargo Center.
VandeVelde's deal is a two-way one, worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 at the AHL level. To make room for him, the Flyers returned forward Tye McGinn to the Phantoms.
The Flyers acquired VandeVelde over the summer as an unrestricted free agent. Assistant general manager Ron Hextall, in fact, is responsible for bringing the former Edmonton Oiler onto the Flyers’ radar -- Hextall’s son Brett played hockey with VandeVelde at the University of North Dakota.
VandeVelde became one of the biggest surprises out of Flyers training camp in September. Despite his AHL-only contract, he was one of the final players dismissed from camp, staying with the team long enough to take the trip to Lake Placid. He was, for a time, considered to have been on the short list of players battling for one of the Flyers’ few vacant spots ahead of the season.
A gritty third- or fourth-liner, VandeVelde has played in 23 NHL games since being drafted by the Oilers in 2005 -- registering just three points. Defensively, he has been somewhat of a liability.
In the 11 games he suited up in the 2012-13 season with Edmonton he was on the ice for four even-strength goals against, and in about 11 minutes of penalty kill time he was present for three opponents’ goals.
VandeVelde has seven goals and six assists in 23 games with the Phantoms this season.