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Foster: Australian for "Defense"

by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

Looking to bolster the depth of their defensive unit, the Flyers today signed veteran defenseman Kurtis Foster to a one-year contract worth $950,000.

Foster, 31, has bounced around the NHL for much of his career after coming into the league as a highly touted defensive prospect.

Foster has had to fight his way through injuries during his career, including a nasty broken left leg injury in 2008 that has brought into question possible changes to the icing rule in hockey.

The injury never slowed Foster’s lethal shot from the point though, which is considered one of the hardest and fastest in the sport, and he has good size (6-5, 230) that he uses well on the defensive end. And, he’s a right-hand shot, something that is a bit of a rarity anymore in the NHL, especially on the blue line.

Foster played 13 games during the lockout for Tappara Tampere in the Finnish Elite League and score three goals and added three assists for 13 points and collected 78 penalty minutes.

He spent time last season with three NHL teams – the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild. Combined with all three teams he played in 51 games with four goals and 10 assists as well as 35 penalty minutes.

Prior to signing with the Flyers, Foster has played in parts of eight NHL seasons with six different teams: the Atlanta Thrashers, the Wild, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oiles, the Ducks and the Devils.

He was originally a second round pick (No. 40 overall) of the Calgary Flames in the 200 NHL Entry draft.

The Flyers felt they needed to add Foster with Andrej Meszaros still not feeling 100 percent after offseason surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ tendon (although he has been cleared to play by doctors) and with minor league prospects Erik Gustafsson (foot) and Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion-related problems) not ready to start the season.

A native of Carp, Ontario, Foster will be in the mix along with Bruno Gervais and Andreas Lilja battling for the sixth and final regular spot on the Flyers roster.

Foster will wear No.3 on his uniform.

The Flyers will now have eight defenseman in camp, which opens today at 11 a.m.

More on this later today both here and on

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