Flyers

An update on Flyers restricted free agents Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny

An update on Flyers restricted free agents Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny

Updated: 6:55 p.m.

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has two restricted free agents to re-sign.

Arguably the biggest of the two, Ivan Provorov, could take some time for both parties to settle on a new contract, a scenario that seemed inevitable with the way the NHL offseason is unfolding, specifically restricted free agency.

Provorov is a 22-year-old foundational piece for the Flyers' blue line. The 2015 seventh overall draft pick looks poised for a long-term deal and significant raise, despite not looking totally like himself in 2018-19 following a breakout 2017-18 season.

Why could re-signing him take a while?

Because the RFA market can turn into a stalemate as others want to wait and see which contracts are signed to use them as leverage or a framework in negotiations.

Some notable restricted free-agent defensemen still need new deals: Jacob Trouba, Zach Werenski, Charlie McAvoy and Neal Pionk.

Fletcher said negotiations with Provorov's camp have been "amicable."

"I spoke with Mark Gandler (Provorov's agent) just a few days ago, everything is cordial and amicable," Fletcher said Friday via a conference call. "But I think until the market settles out a bit, it may be difficult to move forward on Provorov."

Provorov, who had a cap hit of $894,167 in 2018-19 with an AAV of $1,744,167 on his previous deal, didn't sound worried about his new contract after the season.

"I love everything here," he said in April. "Love the guys and love the organization and everything about Philadelphia. It's not going to be a problem."

Forward Travis Konecny is the other remaining RFA after Scott Laughton agreed to terms Friday night on a new deal (see story).

Could the 22-year-old Konecny be in line for a bridge deal? Possibly.

"Konecny, we've had some good conversations and we'll continue to work at it," Fletcher said.

"I expect as the summer goes on, we'll continue to chip away at this, the market will continue to flesh out as we go and we'll get there; we'll get there by the end."

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Flyers place Andy Welinski on NHL waivers, will create more cap space

Flyers place Andy Welinski on NHL waivers, will create more cap space

Andy Welinski, who had been out with a lower-body injury, was deemed healthy Monday and placed on waivers.

If the 26-year-old defenseman expectedly clears, he will report to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

The move is notable for a few reasons.

The Flyers' cap space will increase from $283,811 to $1,033,811, according to CapFriendly.com.

Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) remains on injured reserve and counts against the cap like Welinski did. When the 20-year-old center is healthy, the Flyers will have room for him because the roster is at 21 players. Patrick appears to be getting closer to a return as he is with the Flyers on their current three-game road trip.

The Flyers might still make a move when Patrick inserts the lineup. An odd man out could be Connor Bunnaman or Carsen Twarynski, both 21-year-old rookies. It would make sense if the Flyers want them playing games at Lehigh Valley rather than sitting in the press box as an extra forward.

If the Flyers decide to send one of those players down, it would also create more cap flexibility. Chris Stewart, a veteran winger who turns 32 years old this month, remains with the team on a pro tryout.

As for Welinski, he will help a young Phantoms team if he clears waivers. Welinski has played 146 career AHL games and appeared in a career-high 26 games for the Ducks last season.

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Is Jakub Voracek's trimmed ice time a big deal?

Is Jakub Voracek's trimmed ice time a big deal?

Jakub Voracek’s 14:30 ice time Saturday night was certainly noteworthy.

It marked the 30-year-old winger’s fewest minutes in a game since the 2015-16 season. When the Flyers were trailing, 2-1, during the third period, one of their best and most experienced playmakers saw no more than three minutes of the ice. In the final stanza, Voracek was bumped off the first line and had shifts with the team’s fourth unit.

The development, which comes in the third game of the season under a new head coach, is nothing to sweep under the rug as if it never happened.

Is it troubling, though? No, at least not yet.

The fact is the Flyers have great depth in their top six. So much so that James van Riemsdyk, a two-time 30-goal scorer and the Flyers’ fourth-highest-paid player, opened the season on the third line.

On Saturday night in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Canucks (see observations), the Flyers were looking to spark their offense during the third period. They had one goal and 17 shots on net at the time. Head coach Alain Vigneault has said how he’s still searching for the best chemistry within his forward combinations and defensive pairs.

JVR, who finished with 15:11 and 15:37 minutes in the Flyers’ first two games, respectively, played 20:19 Saturday night. His jump to the first line was effective as the Flyers outshot the Canucks, 14-6, during the third period with van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes and Claude Giroux creating plenty of offense.

When asked Tuesday if he was inclined to experiment with lines early in the season, Vigneault said:

Yes, until I find the chemistry. I’m a firm believer in I think players like to stay on the same line — chemistry gets formed and accountability gets formed also between linemates and D partners. Last game against Chicago was the first time that I felt throughout the four lines we had some chemistry that enabled us to play well defensively and generate some chances offensively. How long that’s going to stay? It’s going to depend obviously on the players’ performance. Until I find the right mix — it could be a duo with a guy going in and out, it could be a line. I’d prefer it be lines, but that obviously depends on the players’ performances.

Vigneault will switch things up and try different combinations. He will also spread out ice time to maximize his push-the-pace, hard-on-the-attack style.

If anything, this is an indication that competition is aplenty among the Flyers’ forwards. There is talent available and minutes are up for grabs.

If you want those minutes, you have to earn them and then keep them.

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