The Philadelphia Flyers have added another physical body for next year by signing free-agent centre Nate Thompson. The deal is for one season with a cap hit of roughly $800,000. Pierre LeBrun announced the move early Wednesday afternoon.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 28, 2021
Flyers Sign Nate Thompson
Thompson had very minimal impact for the Winnipeg Jets in 2020-21. He scored just two goals and five points in 44 games while averaging 9:41 of ice time per night. He did receive credit for 60 hits and 20 blocks, but he was a major liability on the ice with a 37.5 percent Corsi For and -13.5 relative Corsi. Thompson offers essentially no value for anything that doesn’t involve hitting opponents or getting in the way of shots.
The Boston Bruins originally drafted Thompson in the sixth round of the 2003 Draft and the Alaska native has been a member of many franchises at this point in his career. He has made stops with the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Montreal Canadiens, just to name a few. 2021-22 will make Thompsons second stint with the Flyers. The first last just seven games during the 2019-20 season. Overall, Thompson has made a living as a physical player with just 64 goals,161 points, 1384 hits and 370 PIMs in 811 games.
What This Means
Expect very little from Thompson in the coming year. The Flyers stumbled badly in 2020-21, but they still have a promising set of young players that should prevent Thompson from being anything more than a spare forward. The one factor in Thompson’s favor is that adds a level of toughness that Philadelphia has always valued if he can stay healthy.
Philly still has roughly $8 million in remaining cap space for further moves at this time. They may have to trade someone in order to retain both Travis Sanheim and Carter Hart. Neither has leverage as a restricted free agent, but both are important parts of the team’s next core.
Photo: PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 28: Philadelphia Flyers Center Nate Thompson (44) warms up before the game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers on February 28, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)