The Flyers decided to keep Robert Hagg in the fold and have reinforced the bottom part of their defense cheaply.
Hagg comes back on a two-year deal worth $3.2 million with a cap hit of $1.6 million a year. An RFA going into this offseason, Hagg was predicted to be back, but it is reassuring that the arbitration-eligible player and the team were able to get a deal done quickly.
Hagg found his way into 49 games for the Flyers last season, getting 3 goals and 10 assists for 13 points and a +14 rating. He also led the Flyers in hits with 136 and was the most consistent shot blocker on the team, averaging 6.20 per every 60 minutes of play. Since the 2017-18 season, Hagg has appeared in 201 games for the Flyers, the 2nd most of any defender on the team over that span.
As a player, Hagg is a useful bottom pair guy or a 7th defenseman who has proved he can come out of the press box and jump right back into the lineup. At 25 he’s a year or two from his physical prime, and the last two years his offensive game has shown a bit of growth, but he’s a primarily a stay-at-home guy who will block shots and throw his body around. Though when he scores the Flyers excel, with their record being 11-1-1 when he recorded a point last season. He is a known quantity and the Flyers want to keep that around, especially if there is turnover on the back end, with Justin Braun a UFA unlikely to return and Shayne Gostisbehere firmly on the trade block.
In addition to his solid, albeit predictable play on the ice, Hagg is popular in the locker room. He’s also Oskar Lindblom’s best friend on the team. Teammates have at times publicly praised Hagg for his play and his ability to handle being in the press box one night and on the ice the next.
There are also two more Flyers news notes from this week. One is that Alex Lyon has resigned. Lyon is primarily the goalie for the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms and will spend the majority if not all of his time there. The other is that Chris Stewart is retiring as a player and moving into the Flyer play development department. A well-liked vet on both the Flyers and Phantoms, he’ll assume a more official role than last year, in which he was half a player, half a veteran sounding board for young players.