Alex Lyon will stay in the Flyers' goaltending picture for the 2020-21 season.
The club on Friday re-signed the 27-year-old netminder to a one-year, one-way, $700,000 contract. Lyon was slated to become an unrestricted free agent when the Oct. 9 free agency window opens.
Lyon, who was the Flyers' third goalie for the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament, is expected to again be the third goalie on the organizational depth chart at the position. He will have to clear waivers to go to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
In 2019-20, his fourth season for the Phantoms, Lyon went 11-14-5 with a 2.69 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. He made two starts for the Flyers and is 5-4-1 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .893 save percentage over 16 career games with the big club.
The Flyers have another decision ahead at backup goalie; a very important one. Brian Elliott is a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent and the organization doesn't appear to have an in-house option ready for day-to-day backup duties at the NHL level.
"We’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to his agent," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said two weeks ago regarding Elliott's status. "We’ve had a couple general conversations about it and we’ll continue to communicate and see what the future brings."
Lyon, a sharp and pensive product of Yale, was in an interesting position when July rolled around. He was in the Flyers' two-week training camp leading up to the league's return to action and was on the club's 31-man roster in Toronto, all while understanding the uncertainty of unrestricted free agency was not far around the corner.
"It definitely presents a unique set of circumstances," Lyon said on July 19. "Honestly, I think more than anything, I feel super blessed that I have ice to practice on and I have a gym to work out in and have all these resources at my disposal at this time. Because it’s difficult for guys who aren’t in the facility right now to really take care of all those things and have all those resources at their hands. To be able to be here, training and just have all that built in, as well as getting shots from NHL guys, I wouldn’t be able to get that anywhere else. From that perspective, I’m pretty lucky."
For an unusual season ahead, Lyon now has security in an organization that he knows well, which should set him up for his next contract in a more secure 2021 offseason and 2021-22 campaign.
Lyon said the time during the NHL pause was good for him despite the looming unknowns.
"I personally have a tendency at times to put too much pressure on myself," he said. "So to be in a situation where it's like I can’t expect anything in terms of the way things usually work, you can throw all that out the window. For me, it’s been a good learning lesson and perspective that you've just got to take it day by day. It was good to get back to that and it gave me a really good opportunity to get into shape."