Philadelphia Flyers Offseason Primer: Contracts

Philadelphia Flyers Offseason Primer: Contracts Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

So close, but yet so far. It went down to the wire of Game 82 for the Philadelphia Flyers, but they fell just short of making it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

With that being said, it is time once again for the annual four-part series looking at the Flyers upcoming offseason. It begins with the upcoming expiring contracts, which leaves GM Danny Briere with some decisions. It will be followed by the upcoming NHL Draft, available free agents, and line combinations for the 2024-25 season. 

The Orange and Black enter the offseason with just over $500,000 in available cap space. Thankfully, they don’t have many players to focus on with expiring deals. 

With the focus on the Flyers, they have three UFAs and two RFAs, if you include Carter Hart

Flyers RFAs

The most glaring RFA contract is that of Carter Hart. It’s no secret the despicable allegations that he faces in the 2018 Team Canada sexual assault cases. He is an RFA, but this is one contract the Flyers will not look to extend, putting an end to his tenure with Philadelphia.

The other RFA is Egor Zamula. From an undrafted player to playing on the power play, Zamula has turned into a nice surprise for Philadelphia. He’s only 24 and had his best season yet in 2023-24, playing in 65 games while totaling 21 points and averaging 16:03 of TOI with a plus-3 rating. Prediction: Zamula re-signs for a three-year extension with a $3.4 mil AAV.

Flyers UFAs

During his exit interview, Briere was asked about the three UFAs that the Flyers have on expiring deals: Denis Gurianov and Erik Johnson – both acquired at the trade deadline – and Marc Staal.

Briere’s answer regarding Gurianov was straight to the point. The Flyers are not expected to bring him back. Gurianov played just four games with no points following the trade. Prediction: Gurianov becomes a free agent.

Another trade deadline pickup was Erik Johnson, a nice presence in the locker room to help younger players. He is one of the few players who has a chance of coming back. Johnson has expressed interest in returning and Briere didn’t rule it out. That said, there may not be as much interest from Briere as the team reviews the options. Johnson was a minus-9 in 17 games with just three points. He may still have the ability to play another season, but unless it’s a very cheap deal, he won’t be back. Prediction: Johnson becomes a free agent.

Since he signed his deal with Philadelphia last offseason, Staal’s role was always determined to be a veteran teammate and play some minutes from time to time. It’s pretty clear he’s on the tail end of his career, and more than likely won’t be back. Staal has had quite an impressive 1136 career games in the NHL over 17 seasons scoring 53 goals, and 181 assists for a total of 234 points. Prediction: Staal retires.

Other Contracts in the System

In the AHL, there are four UFAs and four RFAs. Among the bigger names who should expect to receive another contract are Bobby Brink (RFA), Adam Ginning (RFA), Mason Millman (RFA), and Tanner Laczynski (UFA). Millman, Laczynski, and Ginning all received extensions under $1 million given their lack of experience or status as primarily AHL players. 

Brink should be the most expensive extension out of them all, but it won’t be much. He had a decent rookie season appearing in 57 games and scoring 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points, but only averaged 13:47 of ice time. He will certainly get re-signed, but it won’t be for much more than his entry-level contract worth $925,000 AAV. Prediction: Brink re-signs for a two-year extension with a $1.2 million AAV.

Older players like Adam Brooks will more than likely hit the market unsurprisingly. Defensemen Victor Mete and Will Zmolek could be back, but again for rather cheap contracts for depth purposes.

Up next is the 2024 NHL Draft. We’ve already analyzed the early possibilities for the 12th overall pick and will next look at possibilities with the team’s second first-round pick, still to be determined as 31st or 32nd overall pending the result of the Stanley Cup Final.

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