Patrick Brown not one of the more familiar faces on the Flyers. He is a depth piece that got a lot of playing time due to injuries to a whole lot of people last year. He is a six year vet and is a 30 year old winger. And due to everyone’s injuries last season, he had a career year.
While his numbers are not staggering by any means, it does show he has promise playing on a bottom line. We’ll also not hold the fact that his grandfather is the owner of the New York Giants.
Before being claimed last year on waivers, he had previously played for the Carolina Hurricanes and the Vegas Golden Knights. He was signed by the Canes as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and has spent much of his career being shuttled back and forth between the AHL and NHL levels. At the AHL level, he has shown an ability to score, notching 19 goals in 2018-19 for the Charlotte Checkers.
The Flyers claimed him last year after he was released by the Knights. The 6’1″, 210 lbs center paid dividends of sorts. He has played in 77 career games in six seasons; 44 of them came last year for the Flyers. He has scored 12 career points; nine of them came last season with four goals. He was averaging a career high of 12:26 minutes of ice time and recorded only 11 penalty minutes. He also delivered 100 hits.
When you look at the number of hits given compared to the penalty minutes taken, that shows a lot of restraint in not putting the team down a man. For a fourth line center playing in half of the games last season, that’s not terrible.
Maybe it is because he finally got a chance to play. Let’s be honest, he’s not going to be the guy who puts this team over the top. But as a depth piece, the Flyers could do a lot worse. Case in point: Nate Thompson. Thompson, in 33 games, scored one goal and registered 31 penalty minutes with 49 hits.
Brown costs this Flyers $750,000 with one year remaining on his contract. We’ll see if John Tortorella really likes what he offers this team. If he does we can expect to see Brown extended. He’s on a team friendly deal, which for a cash strapped team means the world right now.
He’s tough, but not reckless. If he can build on last year, the Flyers can greatly appreciate his efforts. He could easily line up with one of the younger players and Nic Deslauriers to make an effective fourth line. And when you consider how many games this team lost after having a lead in the third period, having a strong fourth line could keep some of those games in the win column. That, combined with a stack of healthy players on the roster, could really change the fortunes of this team.