Former Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal signs with rebuilding Flyers

Detroit News
Steve Whyno |  Associated Press

Former Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal is joining the Philadelphia Flyers, signing a $1.1 million contract for next season with a team embarking on a lengthy rebuilding process.

General manager Daniel Briere announced the signing Monday, following the Flyers’ deals over the weekend with gritty winger Garnet Hathaway and depth center Ryan Poehling. Hathaway got $4.75 million over two years and Poehling $1.4 million for one year.

“It almost makes too much sense to add a guy like that,” Briere told reporters at the team’s practice facility in Voorhees, New Jersey. “We talked about adding a little bit of a veteran presence to help our young guys. We never thought that a player like Marc Staal would have any interest in coming here, so we were pretty excited when we found out there was mutual interest.”

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Staal is coming off helping the Florida Panthers reach the Stanley Cup Final. He skated nearly 21 minutes a night during that run after playing all 82 regular-season games and putting up 15 points.

The 36-year-old fills a void expected to open when Philadelphia trades Tony DeAngelo back to Carolina. They tried to make that trade in recent weeks, but were prohibited by an NHL rule from doing so because it was less than a year since DeAngelo was dealt from the Hurricanes to the Flyers.

July 7 would mark 12 months, after which the trade back could be completed. DeAngelo was a healthy scratch late in the season under coach John Tortorella, with Philadelphia going as far as playing one defenseman short rather than dressing the 27 year old.

Elsewhere around the league, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Max Domi to a $3 million, one-year contract. Domi joins the organization his dad, Tie, played with for more than a decade from 1995-2006.

“I’m back home, and I’m playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, so there isn’t a bigger fan of the Leafs right now than my dad, that’s for sure,” Domi said. “It certainly makes it much easier when you’re coming home. There’s just something real special about that. It’s a big reason why I chose to sign here is I wanted to come home.”

Domi still recalls playing mini-stick hockey in the hallways of the arena in Toronto, folding towels with the equipment staff and skating on the ice as a kid thinking it would be the greatest thing in the world to play there with the Leafs.

“It’s a dream come true, it really is,” he said.

Domi is the latest of several signings by Toronto, which also added former Boston and Detroit winger Tyler Bertuzzi for $5.5 million and defenseman John Klingberg for $4.15 million for next season. The Leafs signed enforcer Ryan Reaves to a $4.05 million, three-year contract just after free agency opened Saturday.

The Detroit Red Wings, who added more than a dozen new players through trades or free agency within the past week, put 23-year-old winger Filip Zadina on waivers. Zadina, the sixth pick in the 2018 draft, had 68 points in 190 games in Detroit since making his NHL debut.

Zadina has two years left on his contract at a salary cap hit of $1.825 million.

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