The Philadelphia Flyers have inked forward Michael Raffl to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $3.2MM. Raffl was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but will now remain with the team through the 2020-21 season. The deal will carry a $1.6MM cap hit, which is actually a step down from the $2.35MM AAV he currently carries. GM Chuck Fletcher gave his thoughts on the deal:
We’re happy to have Michael for the next two years. Throughout his six seasons with the Flyers he has played a pivotal role in a variety of positions and situations. His versatility, experience and work ethic will be valuable assets to our team going forward.
Raffl explained that the two sides had been discussing an extension for some time, which makes sense given they did not flip him at the trade deadline. The 30-year old forward has been a mainstay in the Philadelphia lineup for six seasons, recording 132 points across 406 games. Signed out of the Swedish second league in 2013, Raffl’s best season in the NHL came in 2014-15 when he recorded 21 goals and 28 points in just 67 games. While those numbers are unlikely to be replicated, he’s a responsible depth forward that will now be brought back at something of a discount.
After trading or burying several veterans, the Flyers now have just five NHL forwards on one-way contracts for next season and are set to embrace the youth movement that they’ve been waiting for. Players like Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny and Ryan Hartman are likely to play even bigger roles next season while other young prospects like Morgan Frost, German Rubtsov and Joel Farabee should compete for spots in training camp. While the excitement surrounding the next wave of talent is real, at least a few players like Raffl needed to be retained in order to fill out the roster with some experience and leadership.