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Flyers ink Ristolainen to 5-year extension

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

The Philadelphia Flyers signed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a five-year contract extension carrying a $5.1-million average annual value, the team announced Thursday.

"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 general manager Chuck Fletcher. "He is committed to being a Flyer and brings a consistent physical presence to our team."

Ristolainen was scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason. His new deal is a slight decrease from the $5.4 million a year he's earned since 2016-17.

The Flyers acquired Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres last offseason for Robert Hagg, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-rounder. Philadelphia also brought in Ryan Ellis and Cam Atkinson in separate big-ticket trades, but the moves haven't panned out, as the club sits last in the Metropolitan Division with 46 points.

Ristolainen has recorded 13 points, 177 hits, and 90 blocks while averaging over 21 minutes across 49 games this season. His underlying metrics are among the worst in the league for blue-liners, a trend that's existed for most of his career.

The Sabres drafted Ristolainen eighth overall in 2013. He's collected 258 points in 591 contests in his career.

Claude Giroux, Justin Braun, Derick Brassard, and Keith Yandle are among the Flyers' notable pending free agents.

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