By Jenny Masters
Flyers goalie Carter Hart, who turns 23 on Friday, signed a new three-year deal yesterday for $3.979 million per year — almost $12 million total.
And he sucked last year!
“It’s really great to know an organization is behind you and they trust you,’’ Hart said during yesterday’s Zoomer.
“Now it’s my job just to go out and play the game. Right now, just train and work as hard as I can to be prepared for the season. [GM] Chuck [Fletcher] has made some great moves this summer. It will be great to get to work here soon.’’
In his third season, he appeared in 27 games for the Flyers in 2020-21, posting a 9-11-5 record with a 3.67 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage.
“The past is in the past,’’ Hart said of the Flyers’ season which ended without a playoff visit. “I just took a little breather after the season. It [the rough season] is in the past and you can only learn from it. Just looking to a new start next year.’’
Over parts of three seasons with the Flyers, Hart has posted a 49-37-9 record with a 2.88 goals-against average .905 save percentage and two shutouts in 101 games. His first full season in the NHL of 2019-20 saw him post a record of 24-13-3 over 43 appearances with a 2.42 GAA and .914 save percentage.
In his rookie season of 2018-19, Hart became the second-youngest goaltender in Flyers history to appear in a game and the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win a game. He went a perfect 8-0-0 from Jan. 14-Feb. 9, which tied an NHL record for consecutive games won by a goaltender before his 21st birthday.
After two seasons of working with veteran Brian Elliott as sort of a designated “backup,’’ Hart will be competing with new partner Martin Jones (late of the San Jose Sharks) for playing time.
It should provide some healthy competition for both players. Jones has already gone on record to say he wants to compete for the starting job.
“I’ve heard great things about Jonesy,’’ Hart said. “I’m looking forward to meeting him here soon. That’s what you want, a good competition. … we’ll push each other to be better in practice and off the ice. I think that’s only healthy that you have two goalies who compete hard to play games. I think in the long run it will only be better off for the team and ourselves.’’
Hart said he’s looking forward to hopefully a full, “normal’’ season. In his three seasons, he’s never had an opportunity to dress for the maximum 82 games — the last two seasons because of the pandemic.
“You can’t really judge that it [the pandemic] affected your season,’’ he said. “You don’t want to make excuses. But this year there definitely won’t be any excuses. We’ll have a full training camp. We’ll be ready to go for opening night. It’s a clean slate, a fresh start for everybody. With COVID going [last two seasons], hopefully we won’t run into any hiccups.’’