Analyzing Chuck Fletcher’s Contracts with the Flyers

Chuck Fletcher has had his plate full during his now over three-year tenure as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. When it comes to contract extensions, he was the man responsible for extending the Hextall-era players, as well as putting his own personal touches on the team. Last week, we analyzed Chuck Fletcher’s time as a whole as Flyers GM, this week let’s take a deeper look at the contracts that were signed during his tenure in Philly.

Kevin Hayes

seven years, $50 million ($7.14 aav)

The first major move Chuck Fletcher made during his time as Flyers general manager was acquiring the rights to Kevin Hayes from the Winnipeg Jets for a fifth round pick and a few weeks later signed him to a seven-year, $50 million contract. In 2019-20 he seemed to be the perfect addition to the roster as a borderline elite two-way forward and penalty killer. Then in 2021 he suffered and played through an abdominal injury for most of the season, limiting his usefulness. The injury bug hungover for the 2021-22 season and has stunted any potential he had two years ago.

The overall issue with Hayes is that he had a career year in 2019-20, setting the bar awfully high on a new team. Considering he’s still signed for four more years which will take him up to the eve of his 34th birthday, the Flyers better hope that he can return for the 2022-23 season injury free and get his career back on track.

Ivan Provorov

six years, $40.5 million ($6.75 aav)

Ivan Provorov was kind of a no-brainer to re-sign. He’s the team’s top defenseman and has been the sole constant on the blueline since 2016. Considering young guys get paid right off their entry-level deals these days, snagging Provorov for a respectable $6.75 million cap hit was decent work by Fletcher. Provorov gets paid what he’s worth without overspending and the Flyers have their top defenseman locked up until 2025. win-win all around.

Travis Konecny

six years, $33 million ($5.5 aav)

Travis Konecny held out into the early days of training camp in September of 2019 to re-sign with the Flyers and proceeded to post a career year with 24 goals and 61 points before the covid pandemic shut down the season. What seemed like a good value contract for a player in the midst of a breakout season quickly faded back to a lackluster contract when Teeks has posted just 16 goals in the last 100+ games since the 2020 playoff bubble started. It’s still not a terrible contract, but it hasn’t quite lived up to the steal it once seemed.

Sean Couturier

eight years, $62 million ($7.75 aav)

There are few contracts that are simultaneously as good and as bad as Couturier’s extension. Ignoring the disaster of a season 2021-22 has become for him, had Couturier hit the open market, he’d probably be looking at a deal in the $8-$9 million aav range. So snagging him for $7.7 per season is a win by Fletcher. However, signing a slow, nondescript 29-year-old for eight years with a full no-movement clause is a horrible idea. Couturier is seemingly already on the downturn and his extension hasn’t even kicked in yet. Hopefully he can at least salvage the first couple years to prevent the deal from being completely terrible, but there’s a good chance we’ll look back on this one in a few years and describe it as one of the ugliest contracts in the league.

Justin Braun

two years, $3.6 million ($1.8 aav)

This deal was signed originally as a reactionary move at the news of Matt Niskanen retiring. Robert Hagg and Justin Braun were both free agents at the end of the 2019-20 season and when Niskanen retired suddenly Fletcher had little choice but to quickly re-sign both players to keep the defense somewhat together from the year before. It ended up being a great deal, as Justin Braun has been the hero of the Flyers’ blueline more often than not over the last two seasons.

Carter Hart

three years, $11.9 million ($3.97 aav)

Hart’s extension was groundbreaking when it came to goalie extensions, for about three hours anyway until the Rangers signed Igor Shesterkin to an even crazier deal. The comparables when it came to young top goalies signing their first contracts were substantially lower than Hart’s $3.97 aav, but given his importance to the franchise and his history of dominant hockey sans the 2020-21 season, going all in and signing Hart to a large, but still acceptable, $11.9 million contract has so far turned out to be a great deal for the Flyers.

Travis Sanheim

two years, $9.3 million ($4.67 aav)

In what may have been Fletcher’s smartest move, he opted to sign Sanheim on his second short bridge deal instead of locking him down longterm. With a history of lukewarm play and two talented lefties in Cam York and Egor Zamula on the verge of challenging for a roster spot, Fletcher making sure he gave himself plenty of flexibility when it comes to moving on from Sanheim, just in case, was very smart.

Oskar Lindblom

three years, $9 million ($3 aav)

Feltcher’s hands were kind of tied on this one. Lindblom, who had just beaten cancer, was on an expiring contract and the team clearly wanted to show some faith in him by locking him up to a three year, $3 million aav deal. Lindblom showed some promise before his diagnosis in December of 2019, but he just hasn’t been able to regain that form in the years since his return. Had he been able to rekindle that fire, it’d probably a great value contract, but since he can’t, dropping three million dollars on a bottom six winger is a bit crazy.

Scott Laughton

five years, $15 million ($3 aav)

In a deal that apparently came down to the wire, Laughton ultimately re-signed with the Flyers on the day of the 2021 NHL trade deadline. Laughton has proven to be an ultimate Swiss army knife for the Flyers over the years, from centering the fourth line to playing second line left wing, even taking reps at top line center during the team’s recent bout with Covid. He’s clearly evolved into one of the veteran leaders on the team and is trusted to handle any role given to him. As a standalone contract it’s a perfect deal for a key piece, albeit the term being a bit excessive.

Joel Farabee

six years, $30 million ($5 aav)

Farabee got a deal very similar to Travis Konecny, but is half a million less annually and he’s three years younger than Travis. Farabee undoubtedly has the brightest future of the forwards on the current roster and this was a good show of faith deal that the organization expects him to keep growing, and if he can take his play to the next level, a $5 million cap hit until 2028 is very team-friendly and easy to build around.

Rasmus Ristolainen

five years, $25.5 million ($5.1 aav)

The player everyone loves to hate re-signed with the Flyers a year after being acquired in a trade with the Sabres, much to the chagrin of the Flyers’ faithful. Though to a certain extent, his hands were tied on this one. The right-handed defense market was incredibly shallow, and most other viable options would’ve costed a fortune. Regardless of the personal feelings about the player, locking up a top four RHD to a contract that was cheaper than his previous deal and keeping his aav lower than other available options is a sneaky signing by Fletcher.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s