Blogs > In The Room with Anthony SanFilippo

Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Friday, February 12, 2010


He's only one of the finest penalty killers the Flyers have ever employed. He's certainly their best faceoff guy they've had in quite some time.

So, to think Blair Betts could have walked away from the Flyers at the end of the season was somewhat alarming.

Good thing the Flyers did the right thing and locked him up for a couple more seasons.

Betts, 29, agreed to a two-year contact extension worth $1.4 million. He will make $700,000 in each of the next two seasons, a raise of $150,000 per season from what he's making currently.

And at that, the Flyers are getting him at a discount because in many ways he is one of the most important players on the roster.

“Blair has been a valuable addition to our team this year,” general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. “He has a strong work ethic and plays an important role on our team. We are pleased to have him under contract for the future.”

Having played in just 39 games this season because of two injuries to his shoulder, Betts has six goals and four assists for 10 points. But it is his work in the faceoff circle and on the penalty kill that makes him so irreplaceable.

His 51.3 success rate on faceoffs ranks in the top half of the league, and his tecniques have rubbed off on Jeff Carter, who has gone from an ineffective center on draws to one of the best in the NHL in just one season.

“I’m really happy with the new contract,” said Betts. “It was exactly what I was looking for. I was glad that the Flyers were willing to give me a couple years and show some commitment to me.”

Betts was originally invited to training camp with the Flyers on a tryout. He outlasted a couple other veterans and made the team, signing a one-year contract for the veteran minimum salary on opening day of the season.


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