After a rollercoaster start to the offseason, Chuck Fletcher made it very clear that he had two priorities when it came to the Flyers – extending the contracts of both Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim. The former can now be ticked off his to-do list, with Hart signing a brand new three-year deal worth $3.979M AAV.
Despite a wobbly year in 2020, this was a move that had to be made. The 22-year-old maintains a 49-37-9 record through three seasons, with his first full year coming in 2019-20. He posted a 2.42 GAA and 9.14 save percentage, while going an astonishing 20-3-2 at home, leading the NHL with 1.63 GAA and .943 save percentage when playing on home ice.
The former second-round pick is undoubtedly the goaltender that the Flyers need to commit too on a long-term basis.
Over parts of three seasons with the Flyers, Hart has posted a 49-37-9 record with a 2.88 GAA, .905 save percentage and two shutouts in 101 games. His first full season in the NHL of 2019-20 saw him post a record of 24-13-3 over 43 appearances with a 2.42 GAA and .914 save percentage. On home ice, he posted a 20-3-2 record with a 1.63 GAA and a .943 save percentage; the 20 home wins were tied for the most among all NHL goaltenders, while his home-ice GAA and save percentage numbers led the league.
He ended last year with an injury and .877% save percentage, going 9-11-5 in 27 games. However, in a year without a proper offseason to prepare and one where most of the team took a step back, reasons for concern should be nullified providing he can rebound this season. Hart has buckets of potential and is still so young in his development. It was easy to forget that after he played so maturely during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2019-20, but pull backs in growth and the occasional hiccup are bound to happen.
The Flyers have paid a slightly higher average than many expected, but if Hart can roll back the clocks to when he was firing on all cylinders, this could still be an incredibly cheap contract for a goalie with elite potential. It’s nice that the team finally have some serenity at the crease after years without it.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre