The Flyers signed forward Scottie Upshall to a two-year, $2.45 million contract late last night. Upshall was the most important among the Flyers' restricted free agents forwards to get under contract, as the team is trying to rebuild its top two lines.
He will earn $1.2 million this season and $1.25 million next season. General manager Paul Holmgren said last week he wasn't certain whether he would merely give Upshall a qualifying offer or a longer-term deal because of the uncertainty as to Upshall's market value, but in the end decided the deal was better.
"We felt that this was a fair number for both sides at this time on a two-year deal," Holmgren said.
"Now we're just kind of touching base with some of our other Group II free agents to see where they are at."
That would include Ben Eager, Dmitri Afanasenkov, Antero Niittymaki, Joni Pitkanen, Lasse Kukkonen, Ryan Potulney and Riley Cote.
Upshall scored six goals and seven assists in 18 games with the Flyers last season. He was the surprise part of the Peter Forsberg deal with also included highly regarded defensive prospect Ryan Parent.
Upshall wanted more than a qualifier.
"This gives me an opportunity to be here for two years and just compete, get settled in and have a solid year which is what I wanted to do," Upshall said. "I'm really happy to be part of the future here.
"They said they wanted me to get comfortable with hockey. Last year was such a whirlwind for me with the injury in November, then being out until after Christmas and then getting traded to the Flyers."
Upshall says the rehab on his separated left shoulder is coming along well and he expects to be fully healthy for training camp. He plans to buy a house in South Jersey in the months ahead.