Seeler finally gets security with new Flyers contract

Nick Seeler

     SUNRISE, Fla. – Nick Seeler plays hockey like his next game could be his last but on Wednesday the Flyers made sure that ultimate match won’t happen for years to come.

      Seeler, 30, signed a four-year, $10.8 million contract ($2.7 million AAV) which finally will give the defenseman some financial security.

      The Minnesota native has never really enjoyed a strong commitment from a team in the sport until now. He’s been playing on a two-way deal (meaning salary fluctuation between the NHL and AHL) this past season.

      And there was even talk that because Seeler wasn’t signed for next season, the Flyers might move him before or at Friday’s NHL trade deadline.

      Ultimately, Seeler does so many good things – from blocking shots to fighting for teammates – that the Flyers simply couldn’t afford to part ways with one of their most popular players.

      At last, some career certainty.

      “I knew I just wanted to come in and continue to try and prove myself,” said Seeler, who will miss this two-game Florida trip due to a lower-body injury, during a Zoom media call on Thursday morning from the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, N.J. “To get that (four-year) commitment and a one-way contract, it’s a special moment for me, it means everything.

      “It’s something you work toward as an athlete, to find a home where you feel comfortable, especially in this business where there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainty. To have a place where you feel respected and love coming to the rink everyday, it’s unique, special. I’m very grateful for this opportunity, can’t wait to see where this group goes.”

      A few years back, things were so uncertain that Seeler debated his future in hockey. He took a year off and kind of reset his priorities. He got everything resolved and the Flyers are glad he did.

      “I’ve kind of had conversations about that the past day or so,” Seeler said. “Thinking about where I was three years ago. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing. And here we are today. It’s an amazing feeling. I couldn’t be happier to be staying in Philadelphia.”

      There’s just something about the city, the hockey fans and the culture which Seeler finds appealing.

      “This is my third year here,” he said. “Right when I got here it felt like home. With the new management coming in and ‘Torts’ (coach John Tortorella) and the direction this team is going, it’s really exciting to be a part of and to have that commitment for the next four years.

      “To be in a place that’s so comfortable and to be respected, a place which treats its players so well and to have a fan base like Philly, it’s something special. There’s an excitement surrounding the team this year and it’s been a blast to be a part of. I’m just so grateful to be able to plant roots here. I’m really excited.”

      Seeler doesn’t say a lot in group sessions but rather lets his play do the talking. His inspirational attitude no doubt factored into the Flyers’ decision to keep him around. He leads others, especially the young players, by showing the way.

      “I’m certainly comfortable in that role,” he said. “I am getting to be one of those older guys. We certainly have a young team, a great group of young talent coming up. If I’m someone they’re able to look toward, look up to, get advice from, I’m always there.”

      That, among other things, is what endears him to Tortorella, general manager Daniel Briere and president of hockey operations Keith Jones.

      “I’m not always the guy to say things in the room but I try to do my best to lead on the ice with my play and the effort I can bring,” Seeler said. “We may be young but we certainly have the makings of being a really good team. A lot of people counted us out this year but it’s fun to be a part of something that’s coming along really well.”

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.