Flyers

Flyers 2018 free-agent target: D Mike Green

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Flyers 2018 free-agent target: D Mike Green

Each day until July 1, the day NHL free agency begins, NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall will analyze some of the league's impending free agents and project their likelihood of signing with the Flyers.

Over time, general manager Ron Hextall has freed his club from its salary cap dungeon, setting the Flyers up with greater financial flexibility this offseason. The team has $21.7 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly.com.

As the Flyers look to take a step forward in 2018-19, free agency will provide Hextall an avenue to fill specific holes and supplement his mix of veterans and youth. While the team hasn't been major players on the market under Hextall in the past, the GM indicated earlier this month the Flyers could be active this summer.

Hextall said the Flyers wouldn't entertain a seven-year contract on a free agent, but he expressed a desire to add a veteran or two depending on the term.

With that said, let's look at some possible fits and how/if they make sense for the Flyers.

Mike Green

Age: 32
Position: D
Height: 6-1
Weight: 207
Last team: Red Wings
2017-18 cap hit: $6 million

Boruk
There are a couple of elements to Green’s game that could benefit the Flyers. For one, he’s right handed, which is a scarcity in the NHL, and secondly, he still has a nasty slap shot that would be beneficial to the Flyers' second power-play unit. 

Those attributes would be welcomed additions on the Flyers' blue line, but there are health concerns worth addressing. Green underwent surgery back in March on his spine, an injury that dates back to last season. Teams were aware of this issue, which is why the Red Wings were unable to deal Green at the trade deadline.

Interestingly, Green recently bought a home in Washington D.C., where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career. 

Ideally, he would love to reunite with the Capitals in which the Stanley Cup champions could broker a deal on a hometown discount, but the defenseman would also prefer to stay in the Eastern Conference and somewhere close to home. Perhaps a two-hour train ride up I-95 wouldn’t be a bad alternative.     

Knowing how inefficient the Red Wings were defensively the past few years, I was still somewhat surprised to see that the 32-year-old Green has averaged over 22 minutes in each of the past two seasons. Coming to Philadelphia, Green’s ice time would fall somewhere in the 17-19 minute range. 

If Hextall is looking for even more offensive pop out of his blue line, then Green is a worthy option but only with a clean bill of health. A two-year contract in the $3-4 million annual range for a defenseman who’s good for eight to 10 goals and 35 points.  

Dougherty
The Flyers want right-handed defensemen and the market just isn’t there for them this summer. With John Carlson re-signing in Washington, Green is the top dog available.

Green isn’t quite the blueliner he was years ago when he was with the Capitals but still posts respectable numbers. In 66 games last season with Detroit, he scored eight goals and 33 points.

As the top righty on the market and considering he’s a puck-mover with plenty of experience, I suspect the Flyers will have interest. There are injury concerns there as a neck surgery ended his 2017-18 season, and I’m not a big fan of defensemen not known for playing defense.

Two other factors come in to play for me. One, the only asset Green has that the Flyers don’t currently have is that he is a right-handed shot. While it’s a major plus, his game is too similar to Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Sanheim. Second, the price tag. He won’t get another long-term deal, but with how thin the market is, he could get close to his previous cap hit. Pass.

But we’ll always have Mike Green and his Vespa.

Hall
For a couple of reasons, I don't love the idea, nor do I see it happening, either.

Firstly, the addition of Green would likely block Sanheim's opportunity to see greater minutes and more power-play time. The 2018-19 season could be a chance for the 22-year-old's offensive ability to really show; we saw flashes last year and bigger ones should be on the way.

Secondly, Hextall will want more of an established defenseman known for being responsible in his own zone, one that can shore up some weaknesses the Flyers may have on the back end. The Flyers don't exactly need help offensively with their D-men, and that's Green's M.O., not to mention he brings health concerns and turns 33 years old in October.

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Flyers give 15-year-old fan a contract, and then the day of his life

Flyers give 15-year-old fan a contract, and then the day of his life

The Flyers announced an eye-catching transaction Thursday: a one-day contract with a young local hockey fan, 15-year-old Blake Steigauf.

Steigauf, an enormous Flyers fan and a sophomore at Manheim Central High School who was diagnosed with cancer last April, partnered with Make-A-Wish Philadelphia and on Thursday spent a dream day with the Flyers.

Currently a player for Manehim Central's high school hockey team, Steigauf hit the ice with his favorite player, Flyers captain Claude Giroux, and spent time on the ice during practice with the team.

After taking a few shots — and netting a few goals — against Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, Steigauf and Giroux were chatting when Giroux gave Steigauf his stick and told the young star it was his to keep.

When Giroux gave Steigauf his stick, Elliott swooped in from behind and chirped the Flyers captain: "You've scored more with it than he has."

After practice, Giroux talked about Steigauf's game, and leaned into the razzing.

"You can see that [Steigauf's] been playing," Giroux said. "He's got a good shot. It was good. I gave him my stick, so hopefully ... those sticks don't score a lot of goals, but hopefully he's gonna change that."

In his locker stall after practice, Steigauf was thrilled.

"I'm speechless," Steigauf said. "It was just phenomenal out there. All the guys, they're truly amazing."

Steigauf and Giroux shared lunch together, where Steigauf hopefully gave Giroux a few pointers:

After practice, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher announced the one-day contract at a press conference. Steigauf will join the Flyers on Friday for their Feb. 28 game against the Rangers, according to the team:

Blake's game-day experience will mirror that of his new official teammates, arriving at the arena through the private player's entrance, dressing in an official locker room stall, and lining up alongside the team in the player tunnel. Sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime moment, Blake will lead the team out of the tunnel onto the ice and take an official solo "rookie lap" around Wells Fargo Center ice before watching warmups from the team bench. 

As his final game-night duty, Head Coach Alain Vigneault has requested that Blake present the night's starting lineup before he returns to the ice and stands side-by-side with the starters on the blue line during the singing of the National Anthem.

Both on and off the ice, the Flyers are on a roll.

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Flyers Talk podcast: What to expect with new-look 2019-20 team

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers Talk podcast: What to expect with new-look 2019-20 team

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From expectations for the newcomers, something to look forward to and more, let's dive in:

0:35 — Get to know the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer

3:50 — Fordyce's No. 1 Flyers moment

5:20 — You will love Emmer's top moment

 9:45 — A concern has brought out good sign in Flyers

13:50 — How the Flyers save their best for last

17:00 — Keep expectations in check with Derek Grant and Nate Thompson

20:25 — Recognition for Scott Laughton; his role is increasing

25:00 — Kevin Hayes exceeding expectations and has his own beer!

 28:30 — The finish to February will be huge for the Flyers

 30:00 — Ready for Broadway? Should be fun

 32:00 — An underrated aspect to Flyers' turnaround

 39:00 — A glimpse into Flyers Pre and Postgame Live

44:45 — Emmer's hockey joke of the day!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers