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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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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