As we sit here still in shock and disappointment after a real ugly offseason from the Philadelphia Flyers, the few remaining optimists out there continue to say the same thing- “just wait until 2023, things get better!”
Things do not get better.
The 2023 free agency class is shaping up to be a strong one, though there’s a good chance most players get re-signed between now and next summer. But in order for the Flyers to even consider being big spenders next offseason, they need to shed some serious cap, but they’re not losing quite as much naturally as people seem to think.
Only two contracts of substance are set to expire- James Van Riemsdyk’s $7 million and Travis Sanheim’s $4.6 million. That’s a measly $11.6 million in cap space, and that’s assuming Sanheim doesn’t re-sign.
Beyond that? There isn’t much hope.
Justin Braun’s $1 million hit comes off the books, provided he isn’t dealt away at the trade deadline.
The other expiring main roster contracts are-
Noah Cates- $925K
Morgan Frost- $800K
Patrick Brown- $750K
Ronnie Attard- $883K
Cam York- $880K
Ivan Fedotov- $925K
Troy Grosenick- $750K
Cates, Attard, York and Fedotov are all entry-level deals.
That is just shy of $6 million total, without taking a Cam York extension into consideration, let alone potetially re-signing Frost and Cates, the two most likely main roster successes this season.
That also doesn’t include Wade Allison, Owen Tippett and Zack MacEwen, who haven’t signed new extensions as of this writing.
Also throw in Oskar Lindblom’s buyout of 666K that will count against the cap next season.
So that’s $12.6 million from JVR, Sanheim and Braun, plus an additional $6 million from the ELC’s and league minimum deals. A total of $18.6 million, minus Lindblom that’s just $18 million to play with. Again, that’s provided they do not re-sign Travis Sanheim, a player whose extension would eat a significant portion of that space.
This all means that the Flyers will be in a very similar situation to the one they were in this summer- if they want to make additions, it will all come down to whether or not they can shed cap space, and after Chuck Fletcher’s performance this summer, there doesn’t appear to be much hope.
It will either come in the form of shedding veteran players like Kevin Hayes (3x$7.1) Cam Atkinson (2x$5.8) or finding proper value for the core members like Travis Konency (2x$5.5) or Ivan Provorov (2x$6.7). Either way, there isn’t much light at the end of this tunnel. If one year of JVR was too much to handle, how will multiple years be any easier to move when the cap isn’t expected to raise significantly for at least another couple seasons?
So the long of the short of it is the cap doesn’t get better, and neither will the Flyers.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: wikipedia.com