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Flyers sign Marc Staal to 1-year contract

Digital Brief: Monday, July 3, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: Monday, July 3, 2023 (AM) 02:34

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers added a veteran to their young defensive corps. The Flyers signed 36-year-old defenseman Marc Staal to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, general manager Danny Briere said Monday.

Staal played for Flyers head coach John Tortorella with the New York Rangers from 2008 to 2023.

The lefty defenseman joins the Flyers after spending one season with the Florida Panthers.

The 6-foot-4, 208-pound defender had 15 points and 43 penalty minutes in 82 regular-season games in his lone season with the Panthers. He played in all regular-season games and also skated in all of Florida's 21 postseason games.

The Panthers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final.

In March, Staal and his brother, Eric, refused to participate in the Panthers' Pride Night, citing "religious beliefs."

Former Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov was the first player last season that declined to participate in Pride Nights when he refused to wear a Pride-themed jersey in January. The Flyers traded Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets last month.

The boycotts eventually led to the NHL's Board of Governors outlawing theme-night jerseys, which not only include Pride Night but also other themes like Hockey is for Everyone and Hockey Fights Cancer.

Staal spent the majority of his NHL career with the Rangers, where he served as an alternate captain for 10 seasons.

He's the Flyers' fourth free-agent signing this summer, joining forwards Ryan Poehling, Garnet Hathaway and Rhett Gardner.

The signings come on the heels of a busy NHL draft for Briere and Co.

The Flyers landed the highly skilled Russian right winger Matvei Michkov with the seventh overall pick, a move that shows a commitment to the rebuild. The orange and black also drafted London Knights defender Oliver Bonk in the first round.

In all, the Flyers had 10 draft picks in 2023.

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