Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Players Fletcher Should Target From Cap Strapped Teams

Woooooo what a draft it was for the Flyers, newly crowned Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher, and most of all the proud orange-clad fans. Flyers fans came from all over the world and flocked to Vancouver for draft weekend. They wanted to see firsthand, who their beloved team took with their stockpile of draft picks.

The Flyers also signed eight players for the Phantoms on the first day of free agency this past Monday. The organization brought in four forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. Fletcher wanted to restock the farm, and that’s exactly what he did. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

Hopefully, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton re-sign here soon. It’s odd that at least Laughton hasn’t re-signed. However, Ivan Provorov will take some time. The Flyers want term, so with term comes money.

Provorov’s camp is asking for $8 million a season. Right now that contract would be ridiculous, as Provorov isn’t worth $8 million. However, in say three years he might be, and that’s one reason the Flyers would like him long-term. With that being said it appears the Flyers would like term, not a bridge deal with Provorov. I don’t know exactly how much money he is asking for a bridge deal either, and that may be the hold-up, as well.

All in all, I think the Flyers and Provorov will come to a resolution, but it will take time. This one won’t be easy. However, do not be alarmed if Provorov holds out. I don’t think he will, but anything is possible.

The major difference is you’re going to see a hockey team that is ready to compete on a nightly basis. For the past few seasons, the Flyers have started slowly in the first period of the game. That is one change that will happen under Alain Vigneault. He will have this team ready to compete at puck drop.

This young Flyers team will also be better with special teams. For the past three to four years, the special teams have been the Achilles heel of the Flyers. You’re just not going to advance very far in today’s game without a decent special teams.

Lastly, the locker room will be tight-knit. All players will support each other, if they don’t they will ride the bench. Accountability will be a big word for this group next year. Trust me, things will be better, Vigneault communicates very well with his players.

Provorov’s camp is asking for $8 million a season. Right now that contract would be ridiculous, as Provorov isn’t worth $8 million. However, in say three years he might be, and that’s one reason the Flyers would like him long-term. With that being said it appears the Flyers would like term, not a bridge deal with Provorov. I don’t know exactly how much money he is asking for a bridge deal either, and that may be the hold-up, as well.

Do not be alarmed if Provorov holds out. I don’t think he will, but anything is possible. If anyone holds out it would be Provorov. All in all, I think the Flyers and Provorov will come to a resolution, but it will take time. This one won’t be easy. In the end, I think the Flyers pay him though.

The Flyers cap for 2020, including the buyouts of Andrew MacDonald and David Schlemko, is $54.048 million. Of course, the cap as it stands right now is $81.5 million, and that is if there is no lockout.

Here are some notable Flyers RFA’s:

Nolan Patrick

Oskar Lindblom

Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg

Here are the Flyers UFA’s:

Justin Braun

Tyler Pitlick

Brian Elliott

Alex Lyon

Kurtis Gabriel

Myers, Lindblom, and Patrick are due for raises. Yes, as it would stand the Flyers would have approximately $31 million of cap space, but they have those big RFA’s, with Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim needing new contracts in the future. The Flyers can add for sure, but it might be wise for Chuck Fletcher to save some of the cap space for those new contracts.

All the Flyers have to do is make the playoffs, then after that, anything can happen. The Flyers coaching staff is better, and they will have Carter Hart for a full year. Anything can happen with a hot goaltender, as the world saw with Jordan Binnington this past year. It would not surprise me by any means, that the Flyers could at least win a playoff round next season.

The Flyers could still use a sniper, a true top-six sniper. Unfortunately, at times last season, the offense was inconsistent. Hopefully, that issue will be rectified this coming season. Moreover, I also think the orange and black could use a Defenseman that can play top minutes with Ivan Provorov. Matt Niskanen more than likely will be paired with Provorov to start the season, but can Niskanen keep up with the younger Provorov? That remains to be seen.

The team will be gutted, starting with the core. More than likely it will be a full rebuild. The Flyers have to make the playoffs this coming season, or the season will be considered an utter failure.

I think one of Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, or German Rubtsov will make the opening night roster. It could be as high as two these young prospects, and it will be interesting to see them fight it out at camp for a spot. Isaac Ratcliffe could be a mid-season call-up, as I think it’s unlikely he makes the big club on opening night.

Coaching, coaching, coaching. Coaching is the main key to faster starts. Alain Vigneault will implement a high octane system, and he will expect the most out of his players. If some players do not hold themselves accountable for mistakes, then they will ride the bench…Vet or not. I also believe it may be a mental thing with the older core players. If that is the case a sports psychologist can also aide in this area.

I mean the Flyers added the best 2C on the market in Kevin Hayes and made solid additions to the backend. It wasn’t a sniper in Panarin, but I think Fletcher did a good job with all the holes he had to plug.

All the Flyers have to do is make the playoffs, then after that, anything can happen. The Flyers coaching staff is better, and they will have Carter Hart for a full year. Anything can happen with a hot goaltender, as the world saw with Jordan Binnington this past year. It would not surprise me by any means, that the Flyers could at least win a playoff round next season. Letttttts go Flyersssss have faith.

If I’m Fletcher I’m looking at the Vegas Golden Knights, or the Tampa Bay Lighting for at least one of these players:

Nikita Gusev (VGK)- It is rumored he wants $4 million per season

Ryan Reaves (VGK)- The Flyers could use his toughness, and he can pot a goal or two here and there.

Alex Killorn (TBL)- A real solid two-way player that can provide a big goal. At 29-years-old he is still in the prime of his career.

Artemi Panarin wanted to go to the bright lights of New York or Florida. The hockey world knew this coming into the off-season. Moreover, they paid a hefty price for Jacob Trouba, who at the moment, it appears he wants to test free agency at some point. I’m happy Fletcher stayed away from that type of deal, with no deal in place for Trouba. The Rangers also got lucky with adding a potential star in Kappo Kakko.

I mean the Flyers added the best 2C on the market in Kevin Hayes and made solid additions to the backend. It wasn’t a sniper in Panarin, but I think Fletcher did a good job with all the holes he had to plug.

I believe Joel Farabee will win the 3W spot in the end. Farabee told me this past weekend he staying in Voorhees in the summer to train with Carsen Twarynski and Connor Bunnaman. Both of these young players in Twarynski and Bunnaman have a year of seasoning in the AHL, so this is good for Farabee to get his feet acclimated to the Professional level.

Farabee weighs, “175, and I’m trying to get up to 180 by the start of camp.” It’s just his understanding of what it takes to succeed at the Pro level. Farabee talks as if he’s been in the league for years, and I think this will carry over to Training Camp.

Isaac Ratcliffe and Morgan Frost could see mid-season call-ups at some point, but I just think Farabee is more NHL ready than Ratcliffe or Frost. Frost is in the best shape of his life, but I think in the end Farabee will win that spot.

I believe Joel Farabee will win the 3W spot in the end. Farabee told me this past weekend he will be staying in Voorhees this Summer to train with Carsen Twarynski and Connor Bunnaman. Both of these young players in Twarynski and Bunnaman have a year of seasoning in the AHL, so this is good for Farabee to get his feet acclimated to the professional level.

Farabee weighs, “175, and I’m trying to get up to 180 by the start of camp.” It’s just his understanding of what it takes to succeed at the Pro level. Farabee talks as if he’s been in the league for years, and I think this will carry over to Training Camp.

I see Kevin Hayes being a key part of the Penalty Kill. As a matter of fact, he improves that current unit a ton. Hayes could also be used on the Power Play, as well, as Hayes plays in any situation the coaching staff asks of him. Here is his current line as I see it right now:

2nd Line: JVR, Hayes, Voracek

They had to make improvements to keep up with the other major sports teams in Philadelphia. As it stands right now the Flyers should make the playoffs. Who knows what could happen when a team makes the playoffs (St. Louis Blues for instance). Fletcher will have approximately $3-4 million of cap space left over to add a piece at the trade deadline if need be. I think it’s been a solid off-season for Fletcher and the Flyers.

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. 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: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Jamey Baskow, 34, Flyers Guru, Sports Enthuiast
Follow me on Twitter@JameyBaskow

2 thoughts on “Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Players Fletcher Should Target From Cap Strapped Teams

  1. Not sure how Hayes is the best 2C on the market when it included Pavelski and Duchene… but he was the most realistic of the top choices

  2. What kills me about the Hayes deal is the NMC because it is going to hurt us when it comes to the Seattle Expansion draft. I haven’t heard one sports writer talk about it for some reason. I know it is 2 years away but still concerning because we have to protect him and for 55 point career high seems like within 3 years one of our prospects could have taken his spot. I also want a sniper because this team has too many players who are pass first or always “snake bitten”. I want someone that just constantly puts the puck in the back of the net like panarin or caufield. I am tired of the 2-way forward although I understand important, I also think this team doesn’t make the playoffs because the other teams in an already tough decision have gotten better and stupid playoff format hurt our chances.

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