Quick Hits: Flyers Tender Offer Sheets, Schedule Announced, and More
A couple of minor tidbits of news have come out surrounding the Flyers over the past 24 hours. Though not detailed enough to warrant their own article, each one is important enough that I've decided to take them all on in one swing. Here it goes!
1. With the Ryan Hartman trade and the Travis Sanheim signing, the Flyers were left with five RFAs still without a contract. Tuesday afternoon was the deadline to tender qualifying offers to RFAs. By doing so, the Flyers retain exclusive negotiating rights by offering the player a one year-deal with a salary based off their previous cap hit, age, and other factors.
Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, and Nicholas Aube-Kubel all received qualifying offers, so they remain Flyers. However, forward Justin Bailey and defenseman Jacob Graves did not. As a result, both are now unrestricted free agents, free to sign with whatever team they choose, including the Flyers.
Graves was a throw-in in the Jordan Weal trade and spent his entire career in the Flyers organization in the ECHL (hockey's Double-A equivalent). Bailey was acquired for Taylor Leier and actually did ok, splitting time between the Flyers and Phantoms. I'm a little surprised he did not receive a qualifying offer, as he would have been a cheap 13th forward or could have had his entire salary buried in the AHL if necessary. Either way, it's not a major loss.
2. We already knew the first two games of the Flyers season (10/4 vs. Chicago in Prague, and 10/9 at home vs. New Jersey), but now we know the final 80. Philadelphia will actually play 18 back-to-backs this season, the most in the NHL. Notable home dates include the Black Friday Game vs. Detroit (11/29), a Holiday Special vs. the Rangers (12/23), and the Battle of Pennsylvania (1/21 and 3/29).
One thing to note - the Flyers will play 17 back-to-backs this year, one of the highest numbers in the league. That makes having a good backup goalie very important - thankfully, the Flyers took care of that Wednesday. The regular season ends on April 4th at Buffalo. You can find the full schedule on the Flyers website.
3. The Flyers annual Development Camp began on Monday, and will run all the way through the weekend. Highlighting the event are the Trial on the Isle on Thursday and the 3-on-3 tournament Friday. All events (other than the Trial on the Isle) are held at the Flyers Skate Zone in Vorhees, NJ, and are open to the public. The event is a good way for fans to see the future of the Flyers on the ice before the season begins. It is also serves as a learning program for the prospects and a way to meet each other, since many are playing on different teams and in different leagues spread across the globe.
This year's crop includes every 2019 draft pick expect Egor Serdyuk, just about every other prospect you could imagine, and several non-roster invitees. One of the players in the last group is Cameron Briere, the son of former Flyers fan favorite (try saying that five times fast) Danny Briere.
4. There were a few players who were suprisingly not tendered a qualifying offer by Tuesday's deadline. One of them - the newest Dallas Star, Ryan Hartman. Hartman was arbitration eligible, so Jim Nill may have made this move just to eliminate that possibility and still hopes to get a deal done. However, with Hartman reportedly off the grid on vacation this week, is it actually possible he might go through his entire tenure with the Stars without realizing it ever happened?
5. Over the years, several Flyers alumni have made their way back to the organization in a coaching, scouting, or front office role. On Tuesday, former defenseman Nick Schultz became the latest to do so. Other new staff additions include assistant equipment manager Andy Randells and Executive Vice President/General Manager Dan Warnke.
The 36-year old, who spent three of his fifteen NHL seasons with the Orange and Black, has been hired in a player development role. Schultz was present at Dev Camp to help instruct some of the prospects as well. Schultz brings over 1,000 games of NHL experience to the table, and he also played under Chuck Fletcher while he was still a member of the Minnesota Wild.
Oh, one more thing - Schultz happened to be my neighbor his first year as a Flyer, and I can safely say that he should fit right in to his new role. He was always a very nice, understanding, and humble person whenever I talked with him. Nick is exactly the kind of person that can effectively show rookies the ropes.
6. Ok, one more one more thing. The Richards-Carter trade tree article has been updated to reflect the Hartman-Pitlick swap. Find it by going to "Trade Tree" under Tags on the home page. Make sure to check it out!