Two weeks before free agency began, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. Get used to spelling his full name, because Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was the best signing Ron Hextall has made this offseason.
Bellemare was just another name on the French roster before the World Championships in Belarus. He was a 29-year-old forward with great speed, a good shot and a great pair of hands. He has spent his last five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, producing respectable numbers. The World Championships was his coming out party.
Bellemare scored three goals and eight points in eight games in Belarus. Bellemare and his teammates beat a couple of hockey powerhouses during group play. He scored two points in a 3-2 win over Canada and went pointless in a 5-3 victory over Slovakia.
Soon after the World Championships, Bellemare signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Flyers.
Bellemare was not just a player who gained the Flyers attention after the World Championships. The Flyers had their eyes on Bellemare for years. Even though Bellemare is coming off his best season in the SHL, he is not guaranteed a spot on the roster. Chris Pryor, the Flyers director of scouting, did say Bellemare will get a chance to prove himself.
Bellemare, known for his strong work ethic, should make the team. The most probable spot for him is on the third line. His speed, combined with his two-way game, make him an ideal fit to play alongside with Sean Couturier and Matt Read. Unless he makes a strong impression at training camp, he will be placed on the third line.
Bellemare’s solid defensive game also gives him a chance to make a name for himself on the penalty kill. Adam Hall has not signed with the Flyers and it does not look like he will be re-signed by the team.
The Flyers are two months away from training camp. Speculation will continue to run on what the final roster will look like. The lack of depth at left wing leaves a spot wide open for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to take it.