Philippe Myers has been engaged in a lengthy negotiation with the Flyers over his contract renewal these past few months. The long wait and lack of concrete news surrounding the progress between the two sides has been a source of anxiety for many fans, but on December 8th at 5:10 PM Eastern, the team formally announced that Myers had agreed to an extension. The basic details? Well, they’re in the title, so I don’t need to spend much more time on them. Evolving Wild’s contract model projected that Myers would get 3 years at $2.60 million AAV, so already this contract is being considered a value when viewed within the context of similar contract negotiations. How does this signing impact the Flyers from a cap standpoint, and how good of a value is it? Read on to find out.
With the Myers signing on the books until the end of 2022-2023, the Flyers have $2,261,148 in cap space remaining for the 2020-2021 season. The Flyers have a few key contracts to negotiate coming up with the expiring deals of Scott Laughton, Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim and Nolan Patrick, so while many would have liked Myers on a longer-term deal for a more expensive salary, I can understand why Chuck Fletcher would want to maximize the cap space that he has heading into a year where he has to re-sign his young franchise goaltender and another key defender. Myers’ contract is most comparable to Calvin De Haan’s 2014 extension with the Islanders, which most New York fans would agree was a good move.
How good is the value?
Myers ranked in the 65.8th percentile of all defenders in 2019-2020 by xGAR, a stat that attempts to quantify player value versus replacement. That’s pretty good for a rookie, and it put him in the neighborhood of Travis Dermott and Noah Hanifin. The xGAR model (as well as my eyes) feel that Myers adds good-not-great value in most facets of the game and below average/negative impact in transitional play. Moving the puck through the neutral zone was a skill that Myers flashed at times this past year, but he occasionally struggled with turnovers and forcing carries when a dropback pass or circling back would’ve been the better option. Still, Myers has all of the physical talent to improve his numbers; he has plus speed, reach and a good shot. Watching tape of his 2019-2020, I do have a few concerns surrounding decision making and his shooting accuracy, but a lot of that can just be chalked up to being a rookie in the NHL adapting to the pace of the highest level. I also have to mention that I like the glimpses of intangibles that I’ve seen out of Myers; he seems to have a bit of a mean streak and plays aggressively, which is something that Flyers fans always tend to enjoy.
Myers projects to be at worst a decent top-four defender for the next three seasons, barring injury. I could easily see the towering defender blossoming into a borderline top-pair player, similar to Colton Parayko’s career trajectory, but that remains largely reliant on the coaches doing a good job with bringing him along, in addition to his own individual efforts at improvement. Myers is a hard worker who’s made a career for himself after being undrafted and looks to be a key part of the Flyers going forward, hopefully as a key cog on a continual championship contender.
Photo Credit – Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire