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GUSTAFSSON WILL BE QUALIFIED, KHL OR NOT

Friday, 05.16.2014 / 1:21 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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UPDATE: Erik Gustafsson confirmed the signing in Russia in a conversation with Flyers GM Ron Hextall.

Here's a statement from Hextall:

"I spoke with Erik today and he informed me that he does in fact, have a deal in place to play overseas. Although we are disappointed in his decision, we wish him all the best."

Original story below:

If a report out of Russia is true, then defenseman Erik Gustafsson proved that he’s also a pretty good pitcher.

Because he will have thrown the Flyers a curveball.

The report, coming from Sports.ru hockey reporter Igor Eronko stated that Gustafsson signed a deal to join Avangard Omsk of the KHL next season.

The report comes as a bit of a surprise to the Flyers, who, according to general manager Ron Hextall, are aware of the report but had not heard one way or another from Gustafsson or his agent as of Friday.

Gustafsson, 25, played just 31 games in the 2013-14 season and two more in the playoffs in place of the injured Nicklas Grossmann. He often toiled along at practice as the No. 7 guy on the depth chart. However, considering his age, the Flyers still had interest in his development and planned on keeping him on the roster for next season.

However, now that seems a bit up in the air until Hextall con contact Gustafsson or his representative.

If there is any speculation that the Flyers may have told Gustafsson during his exit interview on break-up day that he wasn’t going to be in their future plans, that would be wrong.

I have been told that the Flyers were planning on extending Gustafsson a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent – and will still do so – meaning they will retain his NHL rights if and when he were to return from the KHL – assuming the report is accurate.

It’s a safe and smart move by the Flyers who can retain Gustafsson as an asset without any penalty as he would not count against the Flyers roster limit of 50 contracts unless the deal is signed, in which case he’d be back in the NHL.

Otherwise, Gustafsson would remain on the Flyers Reserve List.

Gustafsson made $1 million in 2013-14 and the Flyers only have to extend him an equivalent offer for 2014-15 by June 30 to retain his rights.

Stay tuned for more on this as it develops.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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