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Flyers Sign International Free Agents Raffl, Lamarche

It was announced Friday that the Flyers have signed two international players, LW Michael Raffl and D Maxim Lamarche.  The Austrian Raffl, 24, played for the Leskands IF team in Leskand, Sweden the past two seasons, and was, according to the Flyers' website, sought after by multiple teams before the Flyers moved in and inked him to a three-year contract. Last season, Raffl led his team with 24 goals (46 pts),and drew lots of attention after an impressive performance against Russia while playing for Austria in the World Championships.

Lamarche, 20, comes from Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last season, he had a plus-31 rating in 55 games, scoring nine goals and 34 assists (43 pts total). He also recieved a three-year deal.

While hardly sexy, groundbreaking moves, these acquisitions seem to be rather solid considering the praise from scouts. Last season, the Flyers defense was already suspect before being decimated by injuries, which forced them to play many underwhelming players as a result. Hopefully Lamarche, who considers himself an "all around defenseman" can, with a little seasoning, contribute behind defensive stalwarts Luke Schenn and Kimmo Timonen.

Raffl, based on what the article says, looks like he could contribute significantly on the third or maybe even second line, which, in addition to the obvious benefits, might spur guys like Sean Couturier, who struggled all season, to improve their play just by being around. All in all, looks like to decent pick-ups.

Now if they can just decide what to do with Bryz...


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