From trade candidate to future piece, deadline day has been flipped around on Philadelphia Flyers’ center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Sportsnet’s Elliote Friedman reports that the two sides are closing in on a two-year, $2.9MM extension. It’s a nice pay bump for the hard-working forward; he’s currently making just over $700K in the final season of a two-year deal, but will make $1.45MM in each of the next two campaigns.
Bellemare’s extension actually comes in a down year for the big Frenchman, at least in points, as he has just three goals and three assists in 62 games. However, he has been handed more responsibility this season, with a career-high in average ice time, and has played a more reliable game with less turnovers and more sound two-way play.
If it still seems like an expensive deal to you, that may be by design. The Flyers were already facing a tough challenge of choosing which seven forwards to protect in the upcoming Expansion Draft, and Bellemare probably does not make that list – extension or not – but his new contract may dissuade the Vegas Golden Knights from scooping him up in June.