In no real surprise, Zack MacEwen and the Flyers avoided their arbitration hearing scheduled for next Monday.
The two sides settled on a new one-year, $925,000 contract Tuesday.
The hard-working, 26-year-old winger was a restricted free agent this offseason and filed for arbitration. When his new deal expires next summer, he'll remain a restricted free agent and be arbitration eligible again.
After being plucked away from the Canucks via waivers in October, MacEwen carved out a full-time role with the Flyers this season. Thanks to a consistent, effort-based makeup, he ended up playing a career-high 75 games. He finished with three goals, six assists and a minus-15 rating in 9:40 minutes per game. His 12 fights led the team and his 159 hits were second most on the club.
His propensity to stand up for teammates and pull at the heartstrings of the Philadelphia fan base earned him the Gene Hart Memorial Award, an honor given to the player with the most "heart" and selected by the Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club.
"It means a lot," MacEwen said at his end-of-the-season press conference in late April. "I really felt the love and support from the fans here all season. For me, coming here from Vancouver, not really knowing what to expect and to be welcomed in that manner, that's something I don't take lightly. I couldn't be more appreciative of the fans here."
MacEwen did not shy away from any bout. Among his challengers this season were Zdeno Chara, Wayne Simmonds and Tom Wilson.
He enjoyed playing to the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
"After the first one here in this building, I kind of felt the energy from the crowd and I couldn't really help myself a couple times," MacEwen said. "I think it gets some people fired up, it gets me fired up. I love it, it's a lot of fun, it's a great adrenaline rush. I know these fans love a good fight and that kind of stuff. I am more than happy to feed into it and have a good time with the fans because I'm having fun out there."
MacEwen will need to earn his role again in 2022-23 by impressing a new coaching staff. He was often the first player on the ice at practice. His work ethic shouldn't hurt his chances with John Tortorella. One would think MacEwen can serve as an effective fourth-line winger on a competitive team.
The Flyers also re-signed restricted free agents Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, Tanner Laczynski and Owen Tippett last month. Wade Allison is among the remaining RFAs in line for a new deal before the start of the season.
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