The Philadelphia Flyers surprised everyone this season with an unlikely playoff appearance during an expected rebuilding year. And while they bowed out in the first round, the Flyers took the President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games. They enter the offseason with a decision as to whether to continue with the planned rebuild or to double down on their unexpected success.
Key UFAs: F Sam Gagner. Sam Gagner is looking to bounce back after a career-worst 8G and 16P in 53 Games. Gagner held promise when drafted, but he has struggled to realize his potential and is now entering his tenth year as a pro. Any offer Gagner accepts would likely be a short-term “prove yourself” contract.
Key RFAs: F Brayden Schenn. Re-signing Schenn is Philadelphia’s biggest priority. The young forward was third in team scoring with 26G and 59P in 80 Games. More importantly, Schenn has increased his point total every season—showing definite improvement and an upward trajectory. He represents an integral piece of the Flyers’ youthful core going forward, and the team would be wise to secure him to a long-term contract.
The Flyers face the age-old dilemma of following their success or sticking to a rebuild. No team wants to be mired in standings purgatory where they are too good for a high draft pick, but never good enough for an extended playoff push. Draft day and July 1st will indicate which way the Flyers go.