[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was written for The Broad Street Bully, a blog and podcast my friend Drew and I started based off of our mutual interest in the Philadelphia Flyers. See it on http://broadstreetbully.net.]
Along with the Ryan White extension, the Flyers also resigned energy guy Chris VandeVelde. VandeVelde is another one of those guys that works hard every shift and is always out there giving 100%. He’s not going to show it on the scoresheet every night (a lot like White), but that kind of play is crucial on a team that expects to make it to, and go far in, the playoffs.
The contract is for two years and carries a max annual value of $725,000. That’s the NHL equivalent of a steal.
VandeVelde will probably be spending most of his time on the third and fourth lines next year. But when he got some top line minutes last year he did his best to make the most of them. In the video above, you get to see VandeVelde find some space, handle a nice pass, and pick a corner to put it past the goalie.
And with the signing of new head coach, Dave Hakstol, it was almost a foregone conclusion that VandeVelde was expecting to stay. Hakstol is very familiar with VandeVelde because he coached him during college when he played at the University of North Dakota. VandeVelde’s willingness to stay, along with Hakstol knowing exactly what he can expect out of him, means good news for Flyers fan.
With the White and VandeVelde extensions, Hextall did a good job of strengthening the fourth line, and possibly the third line. Flyers fans should feel pretty good going into this season knowing there is some suitable depth in the lineup for the first time in a long time.