After a strong rookie season in 2016-17, Ryan Hartman looked like a potential fixture in Chicago’s lineup for years to come. However, he has bounced around since then and has been dealt in consecutive trade deadlines, shifting from Nashville to Philadelphia last month.
Although his output has dipped this season, the 24-year-old indicated to John Dietz of the Chicago Daily Herald that he’s hopeful to settle down with the team, suggesting that he’d like to sign a long-term deal this summer. Hartman noted that he and his agent have already held preliminary talks regarding a new contract with GM Chuck Fletcher.
However, considering the drop-off offensively – something that hasn’t changed since joining the Flyers as he has just five points in 14 games – it’s hard to imagine that a long-term pact is something that Philadelphia would like to do at this time. While they’re projected to have plenty of cap space this summer with less than $49MM in contracts already, it’s likely that they’ll be looking to be active on the free agent and trade market to add impact players. Locking up a bottom-six piece like Hartman on a long-term deal that buys out some UFA years would take away some of that financial flexibility so it wouldn’t be high on their priority list.
Instead, another one-year deal seems likely. That would give both Hartman and the Flyers time to determine if he’s part of their long-term picture and if so, he’d still have two years of RFA eligibility remaining at that time. He’s owed a qualifying offer of just under $920K this summer and can file for salary arbitration which should get him a decent raise on his current $875K salary.