The trading deadline has reached its boiling point and passed the 3 o’clock cut off point,with teams finalizing their last second trades. The Flyers made three moves, two of which were in-house. This made waves throughout the Philadelphia region.
The first move of the day was re-upping Pierre Bellemare. He is 31-years old and was signed by the Flyers during the 2014-15 season. Bellemare has become a versatile forward under head coach Dave Hakstol after playing professional hockey in Europe.
For his career, Bellemare has registered 16 goals, and 16 assists for a total of 32 points in 217 games played. The new deal he signed today is a 2-year $2.9million dollar extension. His average cap hit would be worth $1.45 million dollars. It is a hefty extension money-wise for Bellemare, as he currently makes $712,500 annually.
The second move was extending the contract of Michal Neuvirth, with a 2-year, $5million dollar extension. Neuvirth is 10-9-1 with a 2.90 GAA and a .887 save percentage on the season.
For his career, Neuvirth is 94-80-22 with a 2.68 GAA, and a .911 save percentage. He was phenomenal last post-season with the Flyers, ending with a .067 GAA, and a .981 save percentage.
The re-upping of Neuvirth has many Flyers fans thinking that it was solely for exposing him in the upcoming expansion draft. With this move, the Flyers would protect goaltender Anthony Stolarz. However, if that were the case Hextall would have theoretically only signed him to a one year deal, as opposed to a two year deal. If Las Vegas decides not take Neuvirth in the upcoming expansion draft, then the Flyers are stuck with him through the 2018-19 season.
The last move Hextall made on deadline day was trading Mark Streit to the Tampa Bay Lightning, in exchange for Valterri Filppula and two picks. The draft picks are for the 4th and 7th rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft.
The trading of Streit was a good move for the Flyers, but this leaves some fans baffled. Filppula is under contract with a cap hit of 5 million dollars for the 2017-18 season. Streit was in the last year of his contract and that would have freed up cap space for the Flyers.
Filppula has registered 7 goals and 27 assists for a total of 34 points in 59 games played this season. He has eclipsed the 20 goal mark twice in his career. Once scoring 23 goals with Detroit in 2011-12, before tallying 25 goals with the Lightning in 2013-14.
Hextall has left some fans puzzled and scratching their heads on this deadline day. He has a vision in mind and hopefully Filppula can provide an immediate spark. All Flyers fans can do is “Trust the Process.” The ultimate goal for the Flyers this season is to make the playoffs. Once they establish that this year, who knows what can happen. The future looks bright either way, with all the young prospects in the farm system. Just have faith in Hextall..for now.
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Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports