The Philadelphia Flyers’ blue line has undergone significant changes and upgrades this offseason, but this weekend ensured that a familiar face will be back at its heart for the 2021-22 season.
The Flyers announced that they and defenseman Travis Sanheim agreed on a two-year deal that carries an average annual value of $4.675 million.
Sanheim was one of the Flyers’ top performers on the blue line last season, though they fell woefully short of preseason expectations that saw them as one of the favorites to make the playoffs in the Eastern Division. Instead, they failed to compete for the postseason less than one year after taking the top seed in the Eastern Conference in the Toronto playoff bubble after the 2019-20 season resumed.
The 25-year-old appeared in 55 of 56 games last season, averaging 21:53 of ice time while posting three goals and 12 assists.
With his return to Philadelphia confirmed, Sanheim is projected to play on the Flyers’ second defensive pairing after general manager Chuck Fletcher sparked an abundance of changes within the defense.
He made two major splashes earlier this summer by acquiring Rasmus Ristolainen from the fledgling Buffalo Sabres before bringing on Nashville Predators defensive stalwart, Ryan Ellis.
Ellis will join Flyers No. 1 defenseman Ivan Provarov on the top pair while Sanheim should slot in next to Ristolainen.