The Philadelphia Flyers and General Manager Ron Hextall did what could be done in the offseason considering how much money they had to work with to stay under the salary cap, and what free agents were available.
The Flyers started the offseason by waiving forward R.J. Umberger for the purpose of buying his contract out. The Flyers bought out Umberger’s contract with $1.6 million of the remaining $3.1 million counting towards the cap this season. The remaining $1.5 million of the contract will count towards the salary cap next season. If the Flyers wouldn’t have bought out the contract then the contract would have been done after this season since Umberger was set to become a free agent after the season. Umberger was a healthy scratch for the last half of the season and wasn’t producing so management decided to gamble and buyout his contract.
The next order of business for Hextall was to get restricted free agent defenseman, Radko Gudas signed to a new deal. Gudas signed a new four-year, $13.4 million deal with an annual cap hit of $3.35 million per season. The deal wasn’t bad considering that three of the Flyers defenseman will be unrestricted free agents after the 2016-17 season, and two of them most likely won’t be resigned. Guides could be the veteran blue liner in a few years for the Flyers, if they don’t resign Michael Del Zotto, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Sam Gagner and Ryan White were lost to free agency so there were two players that needed to be replaced. Gagner signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets while White went to the Arizona Coyotes. The Flyers also lost Russian defenseman, Evgeny Medvedev, who didn’t play much last season and got into some trouble off the ice. Philadelphia then started signing some players to improve the depth of the organization, specifically its AHL Affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Forwards Greg Carey and Andy Miele were signed to one-year contracts.
Boyd Gordon was brought in specifically to improve a penalty kill that wasn’t exactly spectacular last season, and it will also free up center Claude Giroux from having to play shorthanded minutes. Dale Weise was signed to a four-year contract with a cap hit of $2.35 million per season as the guy who will take White’s place. Hextall then brought in some veteran defenseman to help what will be a fairly young blue line for the Phantoms this season. Will O’Neill signed a one-year deal while T.J. Brennan signed a two-year contract.
The Flyers brought in some more depth for the NHL roster in Roman Lyubimov, who is expected to battle for a fourth line spot during preseason. Lyubimov signed a one-year entry level contract. Hextall then took care of some in-house signings of his own restricted free agents. Forwards Nick Cousins and Petr Straka each signed a new one-year deal. Brayden Schenn signed a new four-year deal that has a cap hit of $5.125 million per season. The final move of the offseason was to get defenseman Brandon Manning a new two-year contract that has a cap hit of $975,000 per season.
The Flyers and Hextall did what they could given the circumstance, but they still had a subpar offseason. The biggest thing to look forward to going into the season if to see if any of their young prospects can crack the NHL roster.