South Jersey’s T.J. Brennan is 27 years old and has already been part of three NHL organizations.
Well, make that four, after Monday afternoon’s curious free-agent signing by the Flyers.
The young defenseman agreed to a two-year, two-way contract with the club worth $1.25 million. His NHL salary has an average annual value of $625,000. Brennan is expected to start the season with the Phantoms.
The Flyers are already overcrowded on the blue line and still in desperate need of a scoring winger.
This is actually a depth move, with a potential call-up salary to the NHL level a tad lighter than what it cost to recall Andrew MacDonald last season — $5 million.
Of course, if MacDonald makes the Flyers, his call-up salary is a moot point. The Flyers recently qualified fellow defenseman Brandon Manning and also re-signed Radko Gudas.
They have highly-touted prospect Ivan Provorov banging on the door, and we haven’t even begun to recite the number of top defensive prospects right behind him in Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, etc.
A two-time Eddie Shore Award winner, the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Brennan spent the previous 16 months with Toronto’s AHL club, the Marlies, where he scored 25 goals and 68 points in 69 games.
The Moorestown, N.J. native has also been with Buffalo and Florida. His NHL stats are five goals, 13 points in 53 games and a minus-22 rating.
Brennan represented Moorestown High School in the 2005 Flyers Cup and also played for the Igloo Jaguars in Mt. Laurel, plus the Philadelphia Little Flyers.
Drafted by the Sabres in the second round (31st overall) in 2007, Brennan began his junior career with the St. John’s Fog Devils of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (2006-07).
Most of his career has been spent in the minors, where he’s appeared in 443 games with 319 points. His 113 goals rank fifth all-time among defensemen in AHL history.
He is also a three-time AHL All-Star.
Update: By late Monday, the NHLPA announced that Manning was among those who filed for arbitration. That would explain why general manager Ron Hextall signed Brennan, as insurance against Manning.