Who stays and who goes: Flyers free agent defensemen

Who stays and who goes: Flyers free agent defensemen

May 2, 2013, 9:45 am
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Both Kent Huskins (left) and Kurtis Foster will be unrestricted free agents at the end of this season. (USA Today Images)

Two Flyers defensemen will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, when the NHL’s free agency period begins. Will they stay? Or should they go?
 
Flyers coaching and management personnel were consulted in advance of this piece. What follows is CSNPhilly.com’s best guess at what happens, taking into account those discussions.
 
Kurtis Foster
Age: 31
Games played: 23 (one goal, four assists)
Plus/minus: even
Contract: $950,000

General manager Paul Holmgren made a very big deal about having another right-handed shot from the point when Foster came to this team days before the season started. He was a guy who could deliver on the power play with a big shot.
 
Fifteen games into the season, coach Peter Laviolette realized Foster couldn’t deliver enough and had very little mobility, the result of a devastating left femur injury suffered in 2008. Foster, who was even for the season in plus/minus, was a healthy scratch in more games (25) than he actually played (23).

Stay or go? GO.
 
Kent Huskins
Age: 33
Games played: eight (no goals, one assist)
Plus/minus: minus-3
Contract: $750,000
 
This is your “hard luck” Flyers’ pickup. Huskins, who won a Stanley Cup playing with Chris Pronger in Anaheim, came to the Flyers at the very end of March after Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros were pronounced done for the season.
 
He was a perfect addition to the blue line. The Flyers consider him a No. 6-7 on any team, and Huskins played very well. You really could not find anything to complain about his game. He kept his game simple and he brought a calming effect on the ice, averaging 16:46 ice time.
 
Then a cheap shot to the head concussed him in Montreal, and Huskins missed the final six games of the season. Which, in part, will cost him dearly this offseason. The Flyers feel their younger players - Brandon Manning, for instance - can fill his role next season.
 
Yet, that runs counter to the organization’s philosophy of having a young player - especially a defenseman - sit here instead of accruing minutes in the minors.
 
Maybe this season has sold the Flyers on having more youth available, regardless of minutes played.

Stay or go? GO.

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