In 1982 The Clash penned their iconic Should I Stay or Should I Go and 39 years later The Philadelphia Flyers are getting ready to perform their version in the form of upcoming free agents. The Flyers are in for potentially a very busy offseason, but before they look outside the organization for change, they have to take care of their in-house contracts first. While nobody is due a massive deal this summer, there are going to be a few tricky extensions to work out, so let’s predict what the Flyers’ upcoming restricted and unrestricted free agents contract extensions could look like.
Without a doubt the most important deal the Flyers have to iron out this offseason will be goaltender Carter Hart. Hart, who will turn 23 in August, is coming off his entry-level contract and will be looking for his first big boy deal. Now, in the past we’ve analyzed why Hart won’t make big money based on goalies that have come before him, but his play this season may have thrown a wrench into the dollar amount he could seek. The importance he holds to the future of the organization is ineffable, so there’s no doubt the Flyers will re-sign him, but the dollar value will be interesting. Hart has struggled mightily during the 2021 season, but he has proven that he is a near-elite level goaltender when he is on his game. His issues may save the Flyers a buck or two, and given the flat cap effecting the NHL for the foreseeable future, the Flyers will take savings anywhere they can. Chances are he gets a typical bridge deal of three years and in the range of $3 to $3.5 million per season. Since Hart has sewn at least a small seed of doubt, the Flyers may be able to bank a couple hundred thousand dollars and hit the lower end of that scale.
Currently- 3 years, $730,833 aav (ELC)
Projected Contract- 3 years, $3 million aav
We may have recently suggested the Flyers shouldn’t re-sign Travis Sanheim, but more than likely the 25-year-old will be back in orange and black. Sanheim may be one of the more frustrating players on the roster in terms of what you know he can give versus what you get, but in the tried and not-so-true Hextall way, they will probably hope his potential magically appears one day. Now 25, and coming off a bridge deal, Sanheim will look for a long-term deal that will take him through much of his prime, and a dollar value to match. Taking a look around the league, a player of Sanheim’s status will be in the $4 to $5 million window. Other high-end second pair defensemen across the league- Savard ($4.25), Ristolainen ($5.4), Severson ($4.16), Hanifin ($4.95), Dumoulin ($4.1) Parayko ($5.5), Theodore ($5.2), Muzzin ($4), Brodie ($4.6). So while the AAV ranges a little bit, it’s all in the same ballpark. The term will keep him locked in for the foreseeable future, probably four or five years that will take him to his 30’s. It’s going to be a risky deal to sign, look no further than teammate Shayne Gostisbehere for what a seemingly decent contract could turn into if his play goes further south, but it’s a deal the Flyers will probably jump in with both feet, much to my chagrin.
Currently- 2 years, $3.25 million aav
Projected Contract- 5 years, $4.5 million aav
When Nolan Patrick signed his qualifying offer last summer, the Flyers probably expected to have a definitive answer on Patrick one way or the other, and, well, they didn’t really get it. Until he took a friendly fire shot from Phil Myers that has kept him sidelined as a precaution, he only missed one game this season. But even though he has played every night, which was kind of unexpected, he hasn’t really wowed during those games. He’s got just four goals and eight points along with a -19 rating in 42 games. Rumor had it that they were shopping Patrick at the trade deadline, but nothing ever became of it. He’s an restricted free agent this summer, so the Flyers will still control his rights, so a potential trade could still be on the table this summer. If they do intend on bringing him back again a potential deal won’t break the bank. Given his potential is still foggy, they can’t sign him long-term, and with his play very underwhelming, he won’t get the big bucks either. It’ll probably be another one year bridge deal as a way to yet again try and see what Patrick can bring to the table.
Currently- 1 year, $874,125
Projected Contract- 1 year, $1.4 million
Of all the players on the list, the fate of Samuel Morin may be the one that’s up in the air the most. Originally a 2013 first round pick, this was the first season Morin played consistent NHL minutes in his career. He started the season at forward but was ultimately returned to the blue line where he actually played pretty well. The problem is, everybody on the blue line (except Sanheim) already has a contract for next season. Pair that with the fact that the defense will probably be the main position to get a makeover this summer, Morin may be the odd man out. But considering he has seen ice time more often than not in the later stages of this season, and given the fact that he brings something completely unique to the lineup, maybe the organization will want to give him a full season at defense to prove his value. If that’s the case, he could easily sign a cheap one year “prove it” deal. Considering Robert Hagg and Justin Braun are making $1.6 and $1.8 million respectively, expect Morin to clock in under those two, but higher than his current $700,000 deal. If he re-signs, the official prediction will be one year, $1.2 million.
Currently- 3 years, $700,000 aav
Projected Contract- 1 year, $1.2 million
Brian Elliott’s status may be one of the more interesting options the Flyers have heading into the offseason. He as been a perfectly fine backup goalie during his tenure in Philadelphia, but now at 36 years old, one has to wonder how many more seasons Elliott has left in the tank. He has been deployed mainly as a shield to absorb any situation that they deem Carter Hart not ready to take, thus his numbers are usually much worse than it feels like he’s played. If the organization feels like Carter Hart is ready to finally handle the lion’s share of the starts, maybe bringing Elliott back on another cheap one year deal isn’t a bad thing, if they expect Hart to only play half a season’s worth of games again, maybe they look outside the organization for a younger guy who can handle a heavier workload. If they choose to ride with Elliott again, no doubt they can get him cheap on another one year deal.
Currently– 1 year, $1.5 million
Projected Contract- 1 year, $1.2 million
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
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