Deadlines bring action and with training camps set to open, yet another restricted free agent has agreed to terms on a new contract. The Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed defenseman Ivan Provorov to a long-term extension. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the full terms of the contract, which is six years and $40.5MM, a $6.75MM AAV. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic gives us the breakdown:
- 2019-20: $6.75MM salary
- 2020-21: $2.75MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
- 2021-22: $4.125MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2022-23: $2.75MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
- 2023-24: $5.5MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2024-25: $6.625MM salary + $2MM signing bonus
After a drawn-out negotiation, the Flyers wind up with a very reasonable contract for Provorov. Among the top young defensemen in the NHL and certainly the No. 1 defenseman in Philadelphia, the 22-year-old Provorov nevertheless settles for a cap hit that ranks just 16th among fellow defenders, tied with veterans Mark Giordano and Ryan McDonagh. Figuring for cap inflation and the corresponding rise in salaries over the next six years as well, this should prove to be a bargain if Provorov continues to progress. He is already a proven workhorse when it comes to big minutes and has shown the ability to produce at a high level. For his new price tag, continued success in those areas could make his a steal.
Of course, there is still risk to the new pact for the Flyers. If Provorov does continue to improve, the team could risk losing him at the end of this contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent and, at 28 years old, it will be just in time for another long-term deal. Philly may have to pay up to keep the 2015 seventh overall pick with the team that drafted him. The flip side is that there is also a chance that Provorov has already reached the peak of his ability and, if so, this deal may not bring the value that the Flyers hope. Provorov still has several holes to his game, including struggles on the power play and matching up at even strength with tough competition. The team has to hope that he still has room to grow and learn over the course of the new deal to better reflect his new cap hit.
With both Provorov and Zach Werenski signed, the pressure is now on for Charlie McAvoy and the Boston Bruins to agree to a new deal, as he is the final big-name RFA defenseman available. McAvoy’s camp is likely ready to take the last best offer, after both comparable players signed team-friendly deals. McAvoy is a younger and more dynamic player than Provorov, but has more still to prove after struggling with injuries in his first two seasons. The young defenseman is a better fit for Werenski’s recent contract structure than the deal just signed by Provorov, but he and the Bruins now have to options to consider.