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GUSTAFSSON WILL BE QUALIFIED, KHL OR NOT

Friday, 05.16.2014 / 1:21 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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GUSTAFSSON WILL BE QUALIFIED, KHL OR NOT

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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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