Erik Gustafsson, who in 31 games had the highest plus-minus rating of any Flyers' defenseman this season, is heading to the KHL in Russia.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall confirmed that Gustafsson was heading to Russia. Hexttalll said he was "disappointed" in the news, but that he wished Gustafsson well.
If the Flyers don’t re-sign Kimmo Timonen, the 25-year-old Gustafsson figured to find a regular spot in the D rotation until some promising prospects _ most notably, Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg _ are NHL-ready.
Timonen, 39, who can become an unrestricted free agent, is considering retirement, though he has hinted he would like to return for another year.
Gustafsson had some inconsistent moments this season, but he led the Flyers’ defensemen with a plus-seven rating. The Flyers went 16-11-4 with Gustafsson in the lineup, and 1-1 when he played against the Rangers in the playoffs. Gustafsson, a smooth skater who is built like Timonen, had a goal in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over New York in Game 6.
Gustafsson, who collected 10 points and earned $1 million last season, is a restricted free agent. He is playing in Sweden in the world championships.