Smart move: Flyers re-sign Betts

When Blair Betts is healthy, he can have a big impact as a defensively responsible faceoff. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

  Blair Betts is the Flyers' fourth-line center, but if you don't think he's important, consider this: With him in the lineup, the team is 25-12-1.

  Without him, they are 5-13-1.

   Case closed.

   The Flyers on Friday announced they had given Betts a two-year contract extension.

   It's a wise move, we can all agree.

    One of the team's best faceoff men and penalty killers, Betts will receive $1.4 million _ $700,000 per season.

   “Blair has been a valuable addition to our team this year,” GM Paul Holmgren said. “He has a strong work ethic and plays an important role on our team. We are pleased to have him under contract for the future.”

    Betts, 29, has six goals and four assists for 10 points and 12 penalty minutes in 39 games in his first season with the Flyers. He has missed 19 games due to injury.

   Betts said the deal "was exactly what I was looking for. I was glad that the Flyers were willing to give me a couple years and show some commitment to me.”

    Prior to the start of the Betts was invited to Flyers training camp on a tryout basis and signed a one-year contract on Oct. 1, 2009.

   Over parts of eight seasons with the Calgary Flames (2001-02 to 2003-04), New York Rangers (2005-06 to 2008-09) and Flyers (2009-10), Betts has compiled 58 points.

  An Edmonton native, Betts was originally drafted by Calgary in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1998 NHL draft.

   Somehow, the Rangers let him walk after last season.

   Dumb move, we can all agree.