With his contract up and the team facing a salary cap crunch, Flyers GM Ron Hextall was thinking long and hard about whether to keep the Flyers at a salary-cap-conscious point in the off-season.
As the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement goes into effect in March, the Flyers will have to find a way to keep their core together if they want to avoid a salary crunch.
If Hextal wanted to avoid paying out a high salary to one of the Flyers’ players in the draft, he could do it by making sure that player didn’t become an unrestricted free agent before the end of the season.
If he wanted to keep his core together, he would have to do that by having one player sign for a max contract with a team in the summer, which would mean that one player is already an unrestricted Free Agent.
In the short term, this is the best option for Hextals.
If the Flyers are still looking for a way around the salary cap in the upcoming off-seasons, the most likely candidate would be to sign a player to an extension to stay in the organization.
Hextall has done just that with winger Mark Streit, who is still under contract with the team through 2021.
The Flyers also have a number of other players under contract through 2019 and 2020.
He has done his due diligence in signing two-way forward Matt Read to a one-year deal worth $2.9 million, and winger Adam Larsson to a four-year, $8 million deal.
Both have been solid pieces on the ice.
While Hextalls deal is a one year deal, the term on the extension is three years, which means that the Flyers would still be paying him $7.8 million for each of the next two seasons.
Hextally is currently set to earn $7 million in each of those seasons, so it would be very difficult to make the Flyers pay out the max salary for Streit.
On the other hand, the other player who would likely become an free agent next summer, defenseman Michael Del Zotto, is not set to become an un-restricted free agent.
He is currently an unrestricted-free agent and has one more year left on his deal.
The fact that the two of them would become an unprotected free agent means that they could be in the market for a long-term deal.
In order to keep Streit on the roster and make sure that Del Zottos deal is not a one or two-year offer, Hextel would have two options.
He could make a one time, two year offer to Del Zooms’ agent.
If he did that, he likely would be the one to get the deal done, and he could get the team to pay out a one to two year extension.
If Del Zots agent does not negotiate with his client to get an extension done before the summer of 2021, Heightly could make the deal happen with a three year, $12 million deal for Del Zolls deal.
That would be one of those deals that would make sense for the Flyers, but it would have the drawback of not getting signed until after the 2019-20 season.
The other option would be for Delzot’s agent to negotiate with Streit and the Flyers.
The two of these deals could make sense if they were both done before that year’s draft.
If both were done, the deal would be worth about $15 million per year, but he would be set to be an unrestricted restricted free agent in 2020-21.
This would be a much better deal for both parties.
If Del Zotts agent gets an offer from Streit before the 2021 draft, the two-time all-star will be a free agent after 2021-22, and that would be an ideal time to negotiate.
In addition, the offer Streit received could be a three-year contract, which could keep Streits contract for the next four years.