Read signs four-year extension

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Philadelphia Flyers' Matt Read. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Matt Read said last week he wanted to remain a Flyer next season, but he wasn't sure whether he would be able to stay.

The Flyers and Read's agent, Neil Sheehy, had been negotiating on an extension for the better part of the summer.

Now, Read can start the season without any fear hanging over his head.

The Flyers and Read agreed to a four-year, $14.5 million contract extension yesterday that will keep him in Philadelphia through 2018. His average annual salary will be $3.625 million.

Read, 27, was set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He's coming off a three-year, entry-level deal which paid him $900,000 per season.

"I’m pretty excited, very happy and pretty relieved,” Read said. “It’s been an ongoing process, but I’m very happy about it. My first two years have been overwhelming for me. Its crazy that I’m even playing in the NHL, but to get this second contract with this organization is a dream come true. I couldn’t be with a better organization and I’m thrilled to be here for a few more years.”

Like all contracts, the deal is a gamble for both the Flyers and Read before a make-or-break season.

Read led all rookies in 2011-12 with 24 goals and 23 assists for 27 points. He then dropped slightly in production to 12 goals and 13 assists in last year's lockout-shortened season, though he missed time due to injury.

This season was supposed to be the one where the Flyers would find out exactly what kind of player Read will be. The Flyers either got him before a spike in price or right after his bubble burst.

“We’re excited and happy we finally got this done,” Paul Holmgren said. “He’s one of the young, core players on our team. He’s a very valuable part of our hockey team.”

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