With the first buyout window of the summer coming, Philadelphia can sacrifice some contracts.
Frank Seravelli put out a quick list of potential buyout candidates this summer and with the first buyout window opening up just 24 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded (probably to the Tampa Bay Lightning) the list is an intriguing one. A name certainly made my eyes bulge out of my head in a depressing way and not an a-wooga cartoonish way. He named Philippe Myers as a buyout option to keep an eye on.
With no further explanation or blurb to defend himself with, I’m treating this as a piece of useless trash information but it did at least spur my aging, rusty gears of a brain to think of other potential buyout candidates on the Philadelphia Flyers. Myers still has two years remaining on his contract that carries a $2.55-million cap hit, so it doesn’t really make sense to get rid of it when you need defensemen so damn badly.
Moving on. Who are potential options to get bought out before the busiest time of the offseason?
One right-handed defenseman that I could actually see getting bought out before the dreaded expansion draft is Braun. The 32-year-old is coming off his first year of his new contract — that just so happened to be signed almost immediately after Matt Niskanen announced his retirement, interesting — that only has one year remaining and a cap hit of $1.8 million.
It’s not significant in the slightest, but Braun was a glacial boulder on the ice this season, immobile and not that productive even in the bottom of the lineup. If we want to see a youth injection of Cam York or Yegor Zamula next season, maybe Braun should be sent to greener pastures, letting him keep some money and sign to another team willing to have his lack of production for less of a cap restraint.
Looking at the buyout breakdown, it’s not too much of a hassle either.
Just two seasons of a $600,000 cap hit to let Braun walk away from Philadelphia. Might be a little rich to extend his presence on the team’s cap for another year, but considering that next season is extremely important in determining what the future of the Flyers looks like, letting him play somewhere else and giving more ice to the young blueliners, can be worth it.
This might not be realistic, but it would be beneficial.
The other name is one that I’m sure some section of Flyers media would be glad to write about, grinning ear-to-ear as they list off their complaints and reasons why Jakub Voracek is being bought out.
Obsession aside, a Voracek buyout would be an extremely hefty decision and one that will affect the team’s cap for a total of six years.
With three years remaining on his deal that holds a cap hit of $8.25 million, any decision to opt out of this deal and set him free is a sizable one. But other than the second year of the buyout, the amount of savings might be worth it, considering the contracts that are coming up and the flat cap still being in effect for the next few years.
Both Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier need new contracts or they are walking right into free agency next summer. Now it is unfortunate that it happens to be the worst year of the Voracek buyout, and given the situation that the key years of those hypothetical extensions would be sullied with the $1.8-million cap hit when Voracek would be off the Flyers’ books if left alone, it doesn’t really line up with any future planning. This is a move if they desperately want a change for the player and if they want to address some needs in the next couple of years. Being short-sighted, it’s what NHL management does best.
The Flyers are in a precarious spot with their cap. As much as we love to move puzzle pieces around and dreaming up lofty transactions to make this team better is what keeps us engaged, I cannot see any realistic situations that the Flyers utilize the available buyout periods this summer.
There are no obviously egregious contracts. The players that are paid top dollars deserve it, and even if it’s not ideal that someone like Voracek is taking up so much damn room, he still produces on the ice and the team would be worse without him — he still put up 43 points in 53 games on a team that didn’t make the playoffs. If it was something horrible, as we’ve been treated to before by this franchise, then surely a buyout could be possible if the numbers and future outlook made sense. But the cap hits and extension of those players remaining financially on the team is too much of a burden to consider at this time.
It’s a weird place, but the players are still good even if the cap hits are a little inflated compared to what the true value is that they bring. Still trying to win does that and their future success only depends on getting more value out of players still on rookie deals or similar contracts.
This can all change with a trade or depending on who Seattle takes from this roster. As always, I might be wrong in a couple weeks.