Flyers give Rasmus Ristolainen 5-year, $25.5M extension

ristolainen flyers
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One piece of Chuck Fletcher’s remodeled Philadelphia Flyers defense is staying on Broad Street as Rasmus Ristolainen has signed a five-year, $25.5 million extension.

“Rasmus is an important part of our team and we are very happy to have him on our blue line for the next five years,” said  Fletcher. “He is committed to being a Flyer, and brings a consistent physical presence to our team.”

Per Puck Pedia, here’s the yearly salary breakdown:

Year 1: $4 million
Year 2: $5.5 million
Year 3: $6.5 million
Year 4: $5.5 million
Year 5: $4 million

In 49 games this season the blue liner has two goals and 13 points, a long way from his four consecutive 40-point seasons in Buffalo early in his career. Ristolainen is also second among Flyers defensemen posted a 48% expected goals for while averaging over 21 minutes a night.

But shot suppression while he’s on the ice? That’s, well …

When Ristolainen is on the ice, the Flyers have allowed 35.4 shots per 60 minutes, according to Evolving Hockey. Is that a defenseman you want to lock up for five years? Is it to justify the package sent to Buffalo last summer? Is this to make the organization feel like they’re “tough” to play against because Ristolainen is 6-foot-4, 215 lbs.? They’ve been a bottom 10 team in possession all season, which means they’re dishing it out but not retaining the puck during games.

The 27-year-old Ristolainen is in the final year of a deal that carries a $5.4 million cap hit. He was acquired by the Flyers in July as part of a deal that sent Robert Hägg, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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