Contract negotiations can often be like a roller coaster with sudden dips and turns.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has worked in hockey front offices since 1993 and also has experience in player representation.
"I've been through so many of these," Fletcher said Tuesday. "I've been in situations where you seem like you're a long way away and it comes together very quickly and then there are other times it seems like you're right there and you can't get to the finish line."
How close are the Flyers to the finish line with restricted free agents Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny?
According to a report Thursday by TSN's Bob McKenzie, things are going well with Provorov and maybe not-so well with Konecny.
While PHI and RFA D Ivan Provorov appear to be making some progress on a new contract, or at the very least talks have intensified over the last couple of days, the same cannnot be said for PHI RFA F Travis Konecny. PHI and Konecny are not close on a new deal.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 12, 2019
The first part of that development is not too surprising considering Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski signed on Monday, which was expected to expedite Flyers' negotiations with Provorov's camp. After all, training camp begins Friday and the 22-year-old is a foundation piece.
With Konecny, it is a bit surprising that the two sides don't appear to be close. He's important, too, obviously. Many expected Konecny to sign first among the two given his contract doesn't seem to have as much gray area or debate compared to Provorov's potential deal.
Provorov has played the minutes and held the responsibilities of a No. 1 defenseman but is coming off a down year and was among a pretty notable market of RFA blueliners this offseason (see story).
Konecny's role has fluctuated with the Flyers within a crowded, top-heavy group of forwards. He delivered back-to-back 24-goal seasons over the past two years and his responsibilities will only grow moving forward — from minutes to the power play, etc. A bridge deal feels like a great bet for Konecny (see story).
However, the two sides could be at a difference over the factors of production since Konecny entered the league in 2016-17 as a 19-year-old rookie.
The crux of the problem seems to be PHI is basing its offer on the fact Konecny has averaged just under 15:00 TOI in his first three seasons but the player’s counter argument is that he’s amongst the better even-strength goal-scorers for his age/experience over last two seasons.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 12, 2019
Over the past two seasons, Travis Konecny has the same number of even strength goals (43) as Sidney Crosby and David Pastrnak, and more than Artemi Panarin (42).— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) September 12, 2019
(📷 by Matt Slocum/AP Images) pic.twitter.com/GUkFUBFDg5
Among 2015 draft class, Travis Konecny is tied for 7th in goals scored since 2016-17 season (his rookie year).— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) August 27, 2019
Not bad company.
1. McDavid (112)
2. Aho (83)
3. Rantanen (80)
4. Eichel (77)
5. Connor (67)
5. Marner (67)
7. Konecny (59)
7. Boeser (59)
(📷 by AP/Matt Slocum) pic.twitter.com/BOHX5FLDLn
But as Fletcher said, these situations can change suddenly. Stay tuned.
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