Sanheim kicks off season with 8-year contract extension


Travis Sanheim had himself a happy opening night.

Big time.

Just hours before the Flyers kicked off their 2022-23 season Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center, Sanheim signed an eight-year, $50 million contract extension. The deal has a $6.25 million average annual value, a nice bump up from his current $4.675 million AAV.

"The call to my parents yesterday, just a special moment," Sanheim said after the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Devils. "To be able to share that with them, tears in my eyes, tears in my mom's eyes. Coming from a small town, it was a really great day."

The 26-year-old defenseman was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Elkhorn, Manitoba native is now locked up through the 2030-31 season.

"We're extremely happy to have Travis under long-term contract and see him as a key piece of our team's future," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement released by the team. "Travis has improved each season to become a highly reliable player and key contributor on our blue line. Furthermore, he is someone who has developed his entire career with us and has grown into a valuable leader for our team."

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The 2014 first-round pick has developed into a critical piece to the club's hopes of turning things around. The Flyers want to build from the back end to the front. They're looking at Sanheim to be one of their staples on the blue line, a puck-moving guy with size who can play in all situations.

Sanheim was the Flyers' best defenseman last season.

"I’m not satisfied at all with my game and feel like there’s still more steps to be taken," he said at his end-of-the-season press conference in late April. "We want to create a winning culture here and a winning environment. I've got to be a big part of taking that next step."

The Flyers also believe he has not yet reached his prime. That's evident by the new deal.

"Guys like him are exciting because you can't really even see the ceiling, you can't see the finished product," Flyers assistant coach Brad Shaw said last month. "The finish line is so far down the road.

"He's probably going to be just as valuable down the road as any guy we have on this team."

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