On July 1st the Flyers signed defenseman, Chris Bigras to a two-year, two-way contract. The Rangers had this RFA, but they never made him an offer. Now 24, he’s coming off an ankle injury that saw him shut down his season last February. Getting the first practice under his belt was an important first step for him.
“I felt good. Good tempo at practice. It’s nice to start with a strong one like that,” said Bigras. “It’s been a while since I played. You need to get ready for Game 1 (preseason). You can’t look into the season you have to be ready from the start.”
His season ended abruptly. It changed his training and then he changed teams too.
“It wasn’t until free-agent day when I signed my contract on July first. At the end of last season, it was rehab mostly just to get back. At first, it was working on getting my strength and mobility back from the injury. After that, it was pretty well rounded. I’m a decent skater but you always have to keep improving,” he stated. “Look at Connor McDavid, most players can’t say they can skate like him. There’s always room for improvement and even him he still works on it.”
The 6-1, defenseman is a good, mobile defenseman who will make smart passes and he will block shots and take good angles on defense. He’s smooth with the puck and got caught up in the coaching issues of Colorado and then an injury and with the Rangers, he played in Harford. When they added to their blue line it created an opportunity for Philadelphia. He will start the year in Lehigh Valley with the Phantoms, but he can fill in at the NHL level. He will allow others to develop in Lehigh by playing with him and by having him be a potential 6 or 7; if there are injuries on the blueline. It never hurts to build depth on your backend.
“I’m itching to get back out there,” he answered quickly. “It’s been a long offseason to prep for the first game. It’ll be nice out there and get into a game situation.”
Having a player like Ivan Provorov in camp on the first day, which was never in doubt according to him, made an impression on Bigras. Watching how he streaks down the ice at both ends is pretty impressive.
“He’s a great skater. You need it in today’s game. Especially if you want to be able to contribute in the offensive end once in a while or just supporting your forwards and getting a good gap defensively.”
This was a good under the radar signing for the Flyers.