The Philadelphia Flyers are bringing goalie Antero Niittymaki into the fold, though not in the manner you might expect.
The veteran Finnish netminder will be joining the organization in a scouting capacity, according to Flyers reporter Anthony SanFilippo.
“I always liked it there [in Philadelphia],” Niittymaki said. “I had a great seven years there. I kind of grew up with the organization in the minors and then got a chance in the NHL.
“I was able to kind of get my name out there with the Flyers and I was felt that was my team. That organization was closest to me. I like the way the organization works and all the people there and everything about it.”
Niittymaki, 32, spent six years with the Flyers organization, appearing in the eighth-most games (161) by a goalie in franchise history.
He only recently called it a career after spending his final professional season (2012-13) with TPS Turku of the SM-liiga.
Niittymaki’s last appearance in the NHL came with San Jose during the 2010-11 season, where he posted a 12-7-3 record with a .896 save percentage and 2.72 GAA.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren hired Niittymaki to scout primarily in Europe, along with fellow Finn and former Flyer Ilkka Sinisalo.
Niittymaki’s primary responsibility will be to scout European netminders.
“You don’t need to spend much time with Antero to get a feel for his knowledge of all aspects of the game, and what it takes to play at the highest level,” Holmgren said.
“We believe Antero’s understanding of the game will make him a good all around scout.”