PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Flyers signed restricted free agent goaltender Antero Niittymaki to a two-year contract on Thursday.
The Finn struggled last season, going 9-29-9 with a 3.38 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 52 games with Philadelphia.
Niittymaki, who turns 27 on Monday, is coming off surgery on his left hip in April and was expected to need about 10 weeks to recover. He had a similar operation on his right hip last year.
In three seasons with the Flyers, Niittymaki has a 35-44-15 record and a 3.12 goals-against average in 101 career games.
He will probably back up Martin Biron, who signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. Acquired from Buffalo for a second-round draft pick in late February, Biron was the Flyers' starter down the stretch.
``We believe that Antero is a very good young goalie,'' Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. ``He is only 26 years old and we feel that he is still on the upswing.
``We realize that last year was a down year for everybody, including Antero. We feel that our goaltending, along with Marty Biron, is strong, and we are excited to have both of them under contract.''

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