News broke Tuesday of the Flyers finally getting Philippe Myers to put the ink to his contract. Myers signed a three year $2.55mil contract, solidifying his spot on the team until 2023. While there’s no doubt he will be in the lineup consistently, where he slots in seems to be up for debate. Is he ready to take on top-pairing minutes with Provorov? Is he destined for the second pairing once again, reuniting with Travis Sanheim on the pair that carried the team some nights last season?
While some questions have been answered with Myers signing his deal, others remain. Even more have arose as a result. It’s time to take a look at what the Philippe Myers signing means in terms of the Flyers as whole.
Salary Cap Implications
Myer’s $2.55mil per year is an absolute bargain. If he ends up paired with Provorov on the top pair, it’s even more valuable. While that’s all well and good, it all-but nullifies the chances of the Flyers going out and signing a guy like Mike Hoffman to help add some scoring to the lineup. With the Flyers having a projected $2.261mil in cap space entering the season, that just won’t be enough to entice the scoring winger to come to Philadelphia.
The 31 year old Kitchener native is coming off of his best season in regards to point production. He tallied 29 goals and 30 assists for 59 points in 69 games. Hoffman averaged .86 points per game, the highest mark of his career. Those 59 points would have put him in a tie for second on the team in scoring with Sean Couturier. his 29 goals would be best on the Flyers by five. While the addition of Hoffman would be fantastic from an on-ice perspective, the Flyers frankly won’t be able to afford him with their $2.261mil in available cap space.
With the Myers signing, the Flyers have relegated themselves into bargain-bin territory. If they’re still looking for help up front, they will likely have to settle for a bottom-six, if not fourth line players. Forwards like Matt Martin, Justin Abdelkader, and Mikael Granlund are still available, while players like Ryan Callahan and Corey Perry could potentially look for lesser deals as well. While they still might be looking to add, the quality of the potential signing won’t be as high as it would have been.
Phil Myers will likely end up on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov. Head coach Alain Vigneault likes his left-handed/right-handed dynamic, so Myers is the likely choice. With Myers’ move to the top pair, Travis Sanheim will now command a new partner. Some seem to think veteran Justin Braun is the answer, but it’s likely Vigneault sticks with Braun/Hagg as his shutdown third pairing. That leaves either Erik Gustafsson or Shayne Gostisbehere as Sanheim’s likely partner.
Chances are that Chuck Fletcher didn’t sign Erik Gustafsson to a one year, three million dollar deal to watch from the press box, so he will likely pair with Sanheim. Like it or not, Gostisbehere is the odd man out. With the apparent shortened schedule for the 2020/21 season, the slate will be more grueling and make players a bit more susceptible to injuries. Having an extra, competent defenseman is never a bad thing, especially in times like these.
Setting up for Success
While many assumed a two-year deal would happen, three years is actually a blessing. Had Myers signed a two-year deal, his contract would expire at the same time as Robert Hagg and Justin Braun’s. Going into an offseason having to re-sign three defensemen, or fill their spots, is a hassle all in it’s own.
Now with his contract expiring a year later, it comes off the books the same time Gostisbehere’s does. If the Flyers haven’t gotten rid of Ghost by then, his $4.5mil will be off the books. That means an extra $4.5mil to potentially spend on a new Myers deal. If Philippe Myers ends up living up to the first-pair potential, the Flyers will absolutely need that extra cap to entice him with his next deal.
The Myers deal comes as a bit of a surprise in terms of length. The price seems absolutely appropriate. It’s nice to see the Flyers taking a proactive approach to locking up a solid right-handed defenseman for the amount of years they did. It’s also encouraging to see his contract expire during an offseason where they’ll likely be able to afford his raise. Factor in that Myers will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this deal, and you have a win-win.
Photo Credit – Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire