Flyers acquire Stanley Cup-winning D-man in trade with Sabres


Flyers acquire Stanley Cup-winning D-man in trade with Sabres originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers added a veteran defenseman at Friday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline by acquiring Erik Johnson from the Sabres.

In exchange for Johnson, the Flyers sent Buffalo a 2024 fourth-round draft pick.

With the trade of Sean Walker and the injures to Nick Seeler, Jamie Drysdale and Rasmus Ristolainen, the Flyers had become decimated on the back end.

In the Flyers’ 2-1 win Thursday night over the NHL-leading Panthers, four of the club’s six defensemen were 24 years old or younger. Three of them had under 80 games of NHL experience, with two being rookies in Ronnie Attard and Adam Ginning.

Seeler, who signed a four-year contract extension Wednesday, considered himself week to week with a lower-body injury. He suffered his injury Monday when a shot hit him in the area of his left ankle and foot.

“Seels is kind of a locker room guy,” head coach John Tortorella said Wednesday. “Not by his mouth, but by how he plays. You know how I feel about him, I’ve talked about him in the past couple of weeks. It’s a big one for us there.

“But you’ve got some young kids on the back end now getting some time maybe in our next game here. That’s the way we’ve got to look at it. You just fill it in and hopefully Seels gets back as quickly as possible.”

Johnson gives the Flyers some insurance down the stretch. The 35-year-old has played in 970 career NHL games and he won the 2022 Stanley Cup with the Avalanche.

The righty shot had three goals, a minus-5 rating and 68 blocked shots in 50 games for the Sabres. He played only 13:48 minutes per game.

It’s fair to say he’s not the same player who was a career-best plus-22 in Colorado’s Cup-winning season, as well as a plus-10 in the playoffs. But the Flyers will welcome his experience to a young defensive group.

While the Flyers have put an emphasis on youth in their rebuild, they want to give it quality support.

(More coming …)

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