When Travis Sanheim arrived to the Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers' 2022-23 regular-season opener, his first priority wasn't a pregame ritual.
Or to put on his gear.
Or to tape his stick.
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Or to catch a team meeting.
It was: where can I find a printer?
"The whole process was pretty crazy," Sanheim said with a relieved laugh Friday at Flyers Training Center.
A season opener always brings a different feel to a game day, with the anticipation of a new year and the festivities leading up to puck drop.
But for Sanheim, he'll truly never forget this game day. And not because of opening night jitters.
The 26-year-old defenseman inked a new eight-year, $50 million contract extension Thursday just hours before the start of the game. Sanheim was slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the season. The Flyers view him as a foundation piece to their build back to contention. Both sides didn't need to see more before making a decision on the future.
The club announced Sanheim's new deal an hour and a half before puck drop.
How close was it to game time?
Sanheim could smile as he recalled the process leading up to actually inking the dotted line.
"I had gotten word the night before that we kind of agreed on the numbers and term, and they were just figuring out the structure," Sanheim said. "I thought it would be done in the morning."
Not quite then. But Travis Konecny made sure his teammates knew at morning skate.
"T.K. spilled the news to everyone else," Sanheim said.
Sanheim saw Chuck Fletcher in the hallway. The general manager assured him not to worry.
"it kind of lingered on into the afternoon and into my nap, still hadn't gotten a contract," Sanheim said. "I guess the league had to look at some of the no-trade [protection] to approve it or something like that."
As Sanheim and Konecny made their way to the arena together, things got trickier.
"I left my house at 4 p.m. and I got my contract finally, but then I didn't know how to sign it," Sanheim said. "I couldn't use DocuSign. Because it shows up sign by DocuSign. It couldn't have any of that, it just had to have the signature. So now I'm freaking out with T.K. in the vehicle, like how am I getting this done, I was like, 'I've got to get this done before the game, I'm not letting this happen.'
"We finally got to the rink, I said, 'You know what, they've got to have a printer.' I go in there, get the printer and signed it in the locker room."
Phew. Saved by the printer.
"Pretty crazy day for me," Sanheim said. "Happy to have it done, but happy to move forward and just focus on hockey now."
After the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Devils, Sanheim expressed his love for Philadelphia and the organization.
He wants to win in this city. The potential of playing in one place for his NHL career means something to him.
The Flyers selected Sanheim 17th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, which was held at the Wells Fargo Center. Over eight years later, he was looking for a printer in the same building, ready to stay for eight more.
"Once you put it into perspective that I could be here for the next nine years now, with this year and then eight more, you're starting to get into your mid-30s," Sanheim said. "With the way today's game is going, and getting younger, guys are starting to be at the tail end of the career toward that.
"It's definitely come up in my thoughts. I think it would be really cool. I was drafted not only by Philly, but in Philly, in Wells Fargo Center. Would be pretty special."
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