Alex Lyon and the Flyers didn't need an independent arbitrator after all.
The Flyers on Saturday morning agreed to a two-year contract with Lyon, who was one of 44 NHL players to file for player-elected salary arbitration by Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline.
Taylor Leier also filed for arbitration (see story). Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto between July 20 and Aug. 4.
While Brayden Schenn was the last Flyer to elect for arbitration, the team hasn't had an actual hearing since John LeClair's in 2000. The Flyers and Schenn settled on a new deal the morning of their hearing.
Lyon proved himself capable of potentially handling a backup role in the NHL last season with the Flyers when he posted a 4-2-1 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 11 games — seven starts.
It was a small sample size — slightly bigger than Anthony Stolarz's in 2016-17 — but Lyon did not look out of place. The 25-year-old figures to join Carter Hart and potentially Stolarz in Lehigh Valley in 2018-19.
Stolarz is a restricted free agent and remains unsigned. The Flyers qualified the goalie and general manager Ron Hextall did say keeping three goalies in the AHL this season is an option.
An undrafted free-agent signing in April 2016, Lyon had an up-and-down second professional season with the Phantoms last year but was outstanding in the postseason.
In 11 playoff games, Lyon recorded a 1.98 goals-against average and .944 save percentage, including a 94-save effort in a five-overtime victory. The Phantoms lost to the eventual Calder Cup champions Toronto Marlies in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth under contract for 2018-19, Lyon appears to have first dibs as an injury call-up while also mentoring Hart with the Phantoms. How Stolarz factors into the picture remains unseen.
But for now, the Flyers avoided a potentially sticky hearing with a goalie who very well may seem time in the NHL again in 2018-19.