The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have signed 6'3", 224-pound defenseman Denis Gauthier to a three-year contract extension, according to General Manager Bob Clarke. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
"When we traded for Denis, we obviously liked him and wanted him on our club," said Clarke in making the announcement. "We knew his contract was up at the end of this year and he was going to be unrestricted so we pursued him and we were able to come to a deal. We think he adds a lot to our club. Besides being a solid NHL defenseman he brings a physical part to his game that we felt is necessary for our team."
Gauthier, 29, has recorded two penalty minutes in seven games for the Flyers this season. The Montreal, Quebec native was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on March 9 in exchange for left wing Josh Gratton and two second round picks in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
"I am very happy and proud to be a part of this organization for three years," said Gauthier. "This certainly is a big step and a big challenge for me. The Flyers are a first-class organization and are always battling for position in the playoffs and always have a chance to win the Stanley Cup year after year. That was certainly appealing to me and that is why I gave up free agency this summer for this."
In 45 games for the Coyotes this season, he posted two goals and nine assists for 11 points and 61 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the Coyotes in hits with 120. In 436 career NHL regular season games over eight NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, Phoenix and the Flyers (1997-98 through 2005-06), he has registered 15 goals and 54 assists for 69 points and 578 penalty minutes. He was traded by Calgary, along with Oleg Saprykin, to Phoenix in exchange for Daymond Langkow on August 26, 2004.
In seven seasons with the Flames (1997-98 through 2003-04), Gauthier recorded 13 goals and 45 assists for 58 points and 515 penalty minutes in 384 games. He was originally drafted by Calgary from Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the first round (20th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.