After signing Brandon Manning earlier Tuesday morning to a two-year deal, the Philadelphia Flyers have come to agreements with all of their restricted free agents and will now have a 48-hour buyout period (which starts Friday, three days after the final deal was struck) to clear cap room for the upcoming season. The team currently sits less than $500K away from the cap ceiling, offering little room in which to operate.
The team used the first window earlier this summer to rid themselves of R.J. Umberger and his $4.6MM cap hit. He’ll cost them just $1.6MM on the cap this season and $1.5MM next, after contributing just 26 points over the past two years for the Flyers.
While there has been no word from the Flyers on whether they’d take advantage of this new window, there are a couple of under-achievers that could be jettisoned over the weekend to open up some more room for GM Ron Hextall to work.
Matt Read – Two years, $3.625MM AAV: Read signed a four-year, $14.5MM deal in 2013, but has never been able to replicate the 24-goal, 47-point season he put up in his rookie year. After putting up the worst season of his career in 2015-16, and climbing to the wrong side of 30, Read has seen his role with the club diminished greatly and might be the next victim of a buyout.
If he was to be bought out, the Flyers would save $2.75MM in cap space this season, and $2.25MM next. He’d then cost them $1.25MM in space from 2018-20. Each year’s cap-hit broken down:
Andrew MacDonald – Four years, $5MM AAV: The Flyers signed MacDonald to a six-year, $30MM deal in 2014 after he was traded from the New York Islanders mid-season. While MacDonald was coming off a 28-point season in which he logged almost 25 minutes a night, both those marks would prove to be career highs to this point, as a couple of injury-marred seasons has left MacDonald contributing just 20 points in 86 games since.
With the emergence of Shayne Gostisbehere last season, the Flyers have little use of MacDonald and his huge cap-hit going forward, especially if he can’t regain any of his form from years past. Now 29, it’s not unbelievable that he could get some of his skills back, but it looks like he’ll never be worth the $5MM that the Flyers gave him.
If the Flyers did buy him out, they’d save a good amount of cap space for the next four years, ranging between $2.98MM (next year) and $3.98MM (2019-20), though would be paying him until 2023-24. The cap-hit breakdown is as follows:
While both of these options seem like drastic measures, the team has a real chance of competing going forward with their young stars locked up long-term. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Gostisbehere are all under contract or team control until at least 2019-20, with many stretching far beyond that. If the team is looking to push deep into the playoffs, it may need to rid itself of some of the weighty contracts it’s given out in the past.
We’ll continue to watch Hextall’s moves carefully, and follow the Flyers depth charts both here and on Roster Resource.