By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
It’s essentially one month from when the Flyers are set to take the ice for training camp. Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny still don’t have contracts.
While there is no fear that Provorov and Konecny will be playing elsewhere — they are restricted free agents and did not receive offer sheet deals, so they will remain Flyers — it is starting to reach a point where something has to give.
While the Flyers are certainly not alone in this waiting game, time is starting to run out this offseason. While it still seems likely that a deal will get done at some point before camp begins, just what kind of deal with both Provorov and Konecny get?
Before that question can be answered, you have to consider that the Flyers have approximately $13.4 million in cap space available. That will at least tell you what the combined figure could be. It’s about how the Flyers get there that really answers this question.
For Provorov, the situation seems to be more defined at this point. Provorov is in a similar situation as two other pending RFA defenseman, Boston’s Charlie McAvoy and Columbus’ Zach Werenski. All three seem to be waiting for another to set the benchmark for what the market value is. Provorov and Werenski were drafted in the 2015 NHL Draft. McAvoy was drafted in the 2016 NHL Draft.
In Provorov’s case, as a young defenseman playing top-pairing minutes, the price tag and term are going to be large. Teams want to lock up talent that can play that long in a game at a high level against the opposition’s top talent. Though the 2018-19 season was a down year for Provorov, his first two seasons are enough to place his value in the same class as other young defensemen.
It seems safe to assume that Provorov will not get a contract for less than five years and receive at least $6.5 million at minimum, probably more likely to reach the $7 million mark. The uncertainty of the cap hit makes it tougher to determine what happens with Konecny.
Konecny is among a number of young forwards awaiting a contract as well, but certain a class below big names like Mitch Marner, Brayden Point, Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine. The issue with Konency isn’t necessarily on Konecny himself, but on the Flyers cap situation and what could be left of it after Provorov signs. If you have a pending RFA that is going to likely take half of your remaining cap space like Provorov, you don’t want to deplete your cap space on Konecny without knowing what you have to work with.
So that means Konecny could still get a long-term deal or get a bridge deal. Signing a bridge deal could lock Konecny up for as little as the next two or three years. A longer deal could also be at least five years.
The length of the deal will definitely play a factor in the value of the deal. A short-term bridge deal could come with a price tag as low as $3-4 million. A long-term deal could be upwards of $4.5-6 million. Again, it all seems to depend on what the market dictates.
The clock is ticking on getting these deals done before training camp, and that goes for everyone in the league with a big-name RFA still without a contract. That waiting game has to come to an end soon enough, and when it does, we will finally get answers to the questions surrounding the final two contracts the Flyers need to complete.