Letttttttttts go already. Let’s go, Let’s go Flyers duh-duh-duh-da-duh. Wooo let the off-season begin already starting with an expected wild and crazy NHL Draft on June 22, 2018. Just who will the Flyers select with the 14th pick? Well, no one knows and no will ever know as General Manager Ron Hextall is nearly impossible to predict.
The drafting guru in Hextall will no doubt make the Flyers a better hockey team in the near future. They have the best farm system in the NHL, as voted by NHL.com. Whatever the case maybe the proud orange clad fans of Philadelphia will be at the draft rooting for their hometown favorites in the orange and black. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.
How do you Invision GM Ron Hextall spending the cap money he has worked to create and will he look to trade/buyout anyone in order to open more? #Flyersmail
— The Man Has No Name (@Flyers_WFT) May 9, 2018
Jimmy you’re an amazing passionate Flyers fan. A die-hard. Let’s start with a player that may be traded in Wayne Simmonds. He may be traded at the draft, but I will say Simmonds returns next season as his injuries may have dropped his stock. They don’t have to offer him a contract, but the orange and black could use him as a trade chip at the trade deadline. It also appears Jori Lehtera won’t be bought out, as Ron Hextall didn’t guarantee it in his exit interview. Although, he didn’t close the door on that option either. However, Lehtera will not be bought out this summer, thus returning for his final season for the orange and black.
With the cap expected to raise between $75-$80 million, Hextall will have approximately $21 million to play with. Hextall will sign RHD John Carlson to a five-year $7.5-$8million annual contract, and Third Line Center Riley Nash to a two-year $8.5 million deal. Moreover, Hextall will use the remaining cap for in-house moves by extending both Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov.
With the Flyers sitting real close to the 50 contract limit what do you see shaking out if anything to try and gain some room? #Flyersmail
— The Man Has No Name (@Flyers_WFT) May 9, 2018
Jimmy I love this question. Thanks so much. So the Flyers will have 41 contracts for next season. That’s of course without resigning any of their free agents (Valtteri Filppula possibly as Hextall stated in his exit interview), the additions of new free agents, and those that are currently not promoted to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Matt Read, Brandon Manning, and Johnny Oduya are definitely not returning to the Flyers next season as their UFA’s. I will start by saying the orange and black will sign both John Carlson, and Riley Nash this off-season. The players under contracts now would be set at 43, so let’s break down the promotions to the Phantoms:
Anthony Salinitri ?
The players under contracts with these promotions are 49, possibly 50 if the Flyers elect to sign Forward Anthony Salinitri to an entry-level contract, or lose him to free agency on June 1st. Now let’s breakdown players that the Phantoms may lose to free agency:
Will O’ Neill
The one who sticks out the most to not return to the Phantoms is Colin Mcdonald. Dustin Tokarski I could see not returning, as well. He would probably like to try to return to the NHL. With Hart coming next season there will be a log jam at the goaltending position, and Tokarski I’m sure doesn’t foresee himself in the future plans of the orange and black. O’ Neill and Muse will resign, so the Flyers are still close to the contract limit with 47 under contract for next season minus Mcdonald and Tokarski.
With that being said, I’m willing to bet the Flyers waive Radel Fazleev bringing the players under contract to 46. This is a move to give more playing time to the players who weren’t receiving it. Another interesting part is that Reece Willcox, Samuel Morin, Danick Martel, Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz are RFA’s this year. However, I’m willing to assume all players will receive qualifying offers, so the players under contracts would still be 46.
Leier and Hagg will receive qualifying offers, but Mrazek will not. Without Mrazek the players with contracts would now stand at 45. Another interesting side note is Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth I can honestly see not returning next season, and Lyon will be the backup to start the season to netminder Brian Elliott. Neuvirth could be dealt to another team for a pick. This brings down the players under contract to 44.
Hope this answers your question properly, with the best way I know how of doing it. I like taking risks, and you deserve my honest opinion.
If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Flyersmail. This mailbag will continue throughout the off-season. Just because the season is over, we don’t stop here at this site. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports