It’s been a few weeks since the Flyers last made a roster move, with Nolan Patrick accepting his qualifying offer. As the weeks start to pile up and the offseason hits the slow point, the Flyers could be pretty well set from here.
With the exception of Matt Niskanen and his retirement, the Flyers were able to bring back most of the previous season’s roster. Brian Elliott and Justin Braun returned on new deals with lower cap hits than the previous season. The Flyers also added Erik Gustafsson on a one-year deal to help fill the void of Niskanen’s retirement.
The team also re-signed Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Robert Hagg to short-term deals as well. The only restricted free agent left to be signed is Phil Myers, and that’s a matter of when and not if.
Myers could very well be the last order of business for the Flyers, outside of waiting for when the 2020-21 season will begin. The Flyers are limited on cap space and have some players waiting in the wings for a chance to earn a regular spot in the NHL.
Last season, Aube-Kubel took a step forward and assumed a significant role in the NHL. This season, it could be a handful of players that the Flyers hope take a similar step.
The Flyers spent part of last season further adding to the system by signing forwards Tanner Laczynski, Wade Allison and Linus Sandin. Sandin is currently on loan in the SHL with HV71. Laczynski is already skating at the Flyers practice facility in Voorhees. Allison is also working out on his own.
Collectively, these three players are all new faces within the system that could fill some crucial depth roles for the team. Add in established names within the system like Morgan Frost and the Flyers have a number of players that could be ready for the next level.
Even defensively, the Flyers have some depth. With the addition of Gustafsson, the team has eight defensemen that could all play some role in the upcoming season. Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Myers, Braun and Hagg all return as established players. Shayne Gostisbehere remains on the roster and the team feels confident he is healthy and ready to bounce back. Mark Friedman could also be called upon to fill a significant depth role this season.
If Patrick can find health in the 2020-21 season and Oskar Lindblom starts to return to form, consider them offseason additions as well. While there were thoughts that the Flyers could be players in the offseason, looking to the trade and free agent markets after coming a win away from the conference final, it is now much more likely that they run it back with many of the same members of that team.
Many of the members of that team are still young players, under age 27, that will have another year of experience under their belts. It will be another opportunity for guys like Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny to take further steps in their contributions as well.
A championship team is not built in a day, and the Flyers have certainly been curated over several years to this point. That will not change moving forward. There are more players that will be waiting in the wings after the 2020-21 season. There will be more growth and development to come that will add to the promise of the 2019-20 campaign.
With most of the offseason work completed, the waiting is now the hardest part.