UPDATE: The Flyers have now confirmed the extension with Hagg.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed their final restricted free agent, agreeing to an extension with defenseman Robert Hagg. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie was the first to report that the two sides have come to terms on a two-year, $2.3MM contract. CapFriendly adds that Hagg will make $1MM this year and $1.3MM next year, with a cap hit of $1.15MM. The 2013 second-rounder will again be a restricted free agent at the end of this deal.
This is a very team-friendly conclusion to lengthy negotiations between the Flyers and Hagg. Although Hagg was a rookie last season, the 22-year-old showed positioning and composure of a much older, more experienced blue liner. Hagg led all rookies with 238 hits, a mark that was also tied for seventh-best among all players. He also did so with just 32 penalty minutes on the year. Additionally, Hagg led all rookies in blocked shots. He stepped into a top-four role with the Flyers without any difficulty and showed the potential to be a dominant shutdown defender.
As such, many expected that the Flyers would jump into an expensive, long-term deal for the young rearguard. Instead, the played it safe, taking a short term and very comfortable salary instead of trying to figure out long-term value. Philadelphia has a plethora of talented young defenseman, including Ivan Provorov who will need an extension next summer, and were smart not to set a precedent that they all deserve massive extensions. The team will likely enjoy great value for Hagg over the next two years, after which they will have to pay him his due for a strong defensive game that few others his age possess.