With the 2019-20 regular season officially over and the patient wait for the playoffs begins, looking ahead to the offseason should be the Flyers next priority. The Flyers have three major unrestricted free agents and six restricted free agents that need contracts this summer. Obviously there’s no guarantee the Flyers bring any of these players back, but if they do, here are what their contract extensions could look like.
Pitlick was acquired by the Flyers during the 2019 offseason as a depth forward to boost the bottom six. He was slow out of the gate thanks to a wrist injury that forced him miss training camp, but he has really come on late in the season as four of his goals and 10 of his 20 points have come since Christmas. The 28-year-old was a perfect fit for the Flyers bottom six and was a jack of all trades when called upon. His eight goals and 20 points were the second best of his career and he led all Flyers forwards in hits with 132. Pitlick’s work ethic is something that was extremely noticeable after years devoid of talent in the Flyers’ bottom six. If the Flyers can snag Pitlick cheap enough, there’s no reason to not expect him back in orange and black next season.
Currently- three years, $1 million average.
Projected Contract- two years, $2 million average.
After failing to make the team out of camp, and a less-than-stellar opening in Lehigh Valley, hopes were low that Aube-Kubel would crack the NHL roster and succeed there this season. But he proved everyone wrong in mid-December when he received a call up to the big club. He has been a ball of energy in the Flyers bottom six, even chipping in four goals and nine points along the way. The physical 24-year-old should be given at least one full season to prove his value at the NHL level to see if he can keep the high level of play up long term. If he can, and maybe even grow his game, he may be a hidden gem and perfect third liner for years to come.
Currently- one year, $700,000
Projected contract- three years, $1.5 average
Even though Braun’s personal play has ranged from stellar to sub-par this season, he has undoubtedly added a calming presence to the Flyers young blueline. As the rumors had it, there were many teams who were in on Braun last summer before he was dealt to the Flyers, so he could potentially try and cash in this summer if he wants to test free agency. Braun also just turned 33, so teams could be hesitant to lock him up for more than a couple years. The Flyers do have an excess of defenseman and Braun may fall to the numbers game given his potential contract, but if he sticks around, he could find himself with a contract similar to his current deal, at least in terms of monetary value.
Currently- five years, $3.8 million average
Projected contract- two years, $3.2 million average
Everybody’s favorite defenseman Robert Hagg is due a contract this summer. Coming off a season where he only played 49 games, he still managed to post three goals and 13 points, two goals and seven points shy of his previous career high. Hagg’s play has improved this season despite his critics contradictory opinion. Just like Braun, the number of defenseman on the Flyers roster means there is no guarantee Hagg returns, but if he does, he will no doubt seek more money. Will the Flyers pay the 25-year-old?
Currently- two years, $1.15 million average
Projected Contract- four years, $3 million average
Now that the 2019-20 season in the books, Nolan Patrick officially missed the entire year with what has been described as a migraine disorder. The 21-year-old is a former second-overall pick in the 2017 draft is at the end of his entry level contract. He has recorded 26 goals and 61 points in 145 NHL games. Patrick has had his fair share of injury issues, but has also shown flashes of brilliance in his young career. The organization will no doubt give Patrick the benefit of the doubt and give him more time to clear his head and return to play, but the fact remains that he missed the entire season and wasn’t necessarily a world beater when he was healthy. Look for a bridge deal of some kind for Patrick, it will give him a couple years to get he career back on track at a manageable cap hit incase he doesn’t.
Currently- three years, 925,000 average
projected contract- three years, $1.1 million average
This one is going to be harder to predict. Lindblom is coming off of his entry level deal, meaning that he is a restricted free agent. Obviously his playing career is in question after his Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis earlier this season. Signing him to an outright contract seems doubtful, but because he is restricted, the Flyers could send him a qualifying offer, which means the Flyers keep his rights without signing him to a contract. The deadline for RFA’s to sign is December 1, and if they don’t sign an NHL deal by then they are ineligible to play for the rest of the season and will have to start the process again the following offseason. A qualifying offer would keep Lindblom under the Flyers umbrella without having his contract on the books. As of now, it sounds like Lindblom has been handling his treatment well and is scheduled to wrap up sometime in the fall. Even in the best case, being he is declared cancer free at the start of next season, chances are he won’t be physically ready to go any time soon. The organization will give Lindblom all the time he needs to make a return to the lineup, thus a qualifying offer may be the best way to go.
currently- three years, $925,000 average
projected contract- qualifying offer ($874,125)
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: burlingtoncountytimes.com