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Flyers And Robert Esche Agree To Contract Terms

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers announced that the team and goaltender Robert Esche have agreed to terms on a new two-year contract, according to General Manager Bob Clarke. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

"Robert Esche was a big part of the team that almost went to the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago (in 2004) and we expect him to be a big part of the team this season," said Clarke in making the announcement.

Esche, 27, posted a 21-11-7 record, 2.04 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and three shutouts in 40 games for the Flyers during the 2003-04 season. He was fifth in the NHL in goals-against average and his 21 wins and 40 games played were new career highs for a single season. Esche had an 11-7 record and a 2.32 GAA in 18 playoff games as the Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was also a member of the U.S. National Team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

In two seasons with the Flyers (2002-03 and 2003-04), Esche has compiled a 33-20-10 record and 2.11 GAA in 70 regular season games. He won the William Jennings Trophy, which goes to the goaltenders who played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it, for the 2002-03 season (shared with Roman Cechmanek and the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur). He was acquired by the Flyers, along with Michal Handzus, from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Brian Boucher and Nashville's third round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft on June 12, 2002.

In six NHL seasons with Phoenix and the Flyers (1998-99 through 2003-04), Esche has registered a 51-44-16 record and 2.48 GAA in 128 regular season games. He was originally drafted by Phoenix in the sixth round (139th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

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