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Flyers Sign Two Players in Free Agency; Daniel Briere Looking For More Help

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Ryan Poehling
Ryan Poehling

On a day the Philadelphia Flyers lost James van Riemsdyk in free agency, the team added two players.

The Flyers announced the signing of former Penguins forward Ryan Poehling and former Stars forward Rhett Gardner.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said he actively looked for additional help for his rebuilding team.

“We inquired on a lot of different players,” Briere said at a news conference Saturday at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees.

“Again, on free agency, you saw the money that’s being thrown left and right [by other teams]. One day we might be there. One day [we might] be in a position where it makes sense to do that.

“I just didn’t feel right now [it’s] what’s needed for the direction that we’re going in.”

Briere said the Flyers even looked at veterans in free agency.

“At some point we’re going to look into — and we did look into — more of a veteran presence in the lineup both upfront and on defense,” Briere said.

“We just didn’t find the proper fit today. But we’re going to keep looking. And if it makes sense at some point we might add in that direction.”

The New Players

Poehling’s contract is for one year and $1.4 million. Gardner signed a two-year, two-way, $1.55 million deal.

Poehling, 24, was the 25th overall pick by the Canadiens in 2017. Last year was his first in Pittsburgh. He scored seven goals and seven assists in 53 games. In three seasons with the Canadiens, Poehling played 85 games and scored 13 goals and nine assists.

In his NHL debut, Poehling scored a hat trick to become the first Montreal player to score three goals in his first game since Alex Smart on Jan. 14, 1943. Poehling is 6-foot-2, 196 pounds.

Gardner, 27, scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 71 games with the AHL Texas Stars last season. He has played 40 NHL games with one goal and one assist. Gardner is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He was taken in the fourth round (116th overall) of the 2016 draft.

“Usually in free agency you’re adding older players and maybe one day we’ll be there,” Briere said. “But at the stage that we’re at, it was a nice added bonus that he’s [Poehling] a young man, he’s known for his character.

“We talked about what we’re trying to do with the culture and standard that we’re trying to put in place here.

“I think it’s a no-brainer to bring in a guy like Ryan Poehling, a guy who wants to prove himself, who’s willing to put in the work and bet on himself on a one-year deal.”

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