The Philadelphia Flyers and free agent defenseman T.J. Brennan have agreed to a two-year, two-way with a $625,000 cap hit per season.
Brennan is a native of Moorestown, NJ and played for the Philadelphia Little Flyers before joining the Quebec Junior Hockey League in the 2006-07 season. He was taken in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. In 53 career NHL games, the defenseman has five goals, eight assists, 13 assists in 15:58 of ice time per game. He has played for three different organizations over the course of this career which include the Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers.
Brennan has spent the last season and a half with the Maple Leafs organization. He had mostly played for the Maple Leafs’ AHL Affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. In 69 games played last season, Brennan had 25 goals, 43 assists and 68 points. He had four multi-goal games and 17 multipoint games during the 2015-16 season. The defenseman had a four point game where he tallied one goal and three assists on March 26, 2016, against the St. John’s IceCaps.
In 15 playoff games last season, he had five goals, four assists and nine points. Brennan won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s best defenseman for the second time in his career, becoming only the seventh player in AHL History to win the award multiple times. He also won the Award for his play during the 2013-14 season. Brennan also played in seven NHL games over the course of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons where he registered one goal and one assist for two points.
He will bring some much needed offense to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ blueline. He is a good skater and has good offensive zone ability. He can move the puck and can be a major asset on the power play because of that ability to be able to move and shoot the puck. Brennan ranks fifth all-time in AHL history in goals scored by a defenseman behind only John Slaney (166), Bryan Helmer (129), Jim Wiemer (124) and Ed MacQueen (123). He led all blueliners in goals (25), and points (68) while finished second in assists (43) and he was third among all defenseman in plus/minus (+34).
If there is a downside to Brennan, it’s that he can make mistakes while pressured with the puck, and he can improve his play without the puck. Brennan will bring a veteran presence to what should be a young blueline, which should include Sam Morin, Robert Haag, Travis Sanheim and Mark Alt.
The Phantoms agreed to contracts with forward Mark Zengerle and goaltender Martin Ouellette.