Petr Mrazek

NHL free agency: Where the Flyers' UFAs have landed

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Jordan Hall/NBC Sports Philadelphia

NHL free agency: Where the Flyers' UFAs have landed

Ron Hextall said at his end-of-the-season press conference in late April that the Flyers were not planning to bring back their unrestricted free agents, with the exception of Valtteri Filppula, which the general manager did not rule out.

So some now-former Flyers were on the move Sunday as NHL free agency opened at noon.

Here's the latest on where which players have landed.

Brandon Manning

The defenseman, who went undrafted and played parts of six seasons with the Flyers, signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks. The contract has an annual average value of $2.25 million, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli.

"Brandon Manning was a good player for us," Hextall said Sunday. "He was an absolute warrior and a character guy, and I was actually very happy to see him sign that two-year deal in Chicago."

Over time, Manning became a much-maligned player among the fan base, especially when Dave Hakstol would elect to play him over Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg. Still, Manning never shied away from a fight, was classy off the ice and turned himself into an NHL player.

He thanked the fans, city and organization on Twitter earlier in the day.


Valtteri Filppula

Hextall on Sunday confirmed the Flyers were moving on from Filppula, who ended up signing with the Islanders, according to Arthur Staple of The Athletic.

Filppula was acquired in the Mark Streit deal at the 2017 trade deadline. The veteran center turned 34 in March and had 11 goals and 22 assists over 81 games during 2017-18.


Petr Mrazek

After the Flyers' season ended, it was clear Mrazek wasn't coming back to Philly. Hextall didn't qualify the goalie and he became an unrestricted free agent.

Now Mrazek is headed to the Hurricanes on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Mrazek will share the net with Scott Darling. Longtime 'Canes goalie Cam Ward moved on and signed with the Blackhawks.


More on the Flyers

Ron Hextall surprised by quiet draft weekend for Flyers

Ron Hextall surprised by quiet draft weekend for Flyers

DALLAS — The Flyers finally made a draft day deal. 

They disposed of one of their two seventh-round picks (190th overall) to the Canadiens for Montreal’s seventh-rounder in 2019.

That was it.

A quiet weekend for general manager Ron Hextall, who certainly had discussions, but it was just one big billow of smoke and not all that different from the wood-filled BBQ pits in the surrounding Dallas area.

“The draft didn’t have the typical big deals. I was surprised as anybody,” Hextall said Saturday. “I thought there were some bigger deals, but that’s the way it goes.”

Hextall couldn’t even get a seventh-rounder for RFA goaltender Petr Mrazek, who the Flyers acquired for a third-round pick back in February, and will now be a free agent on July 1.

“Someone calls me, I’ll certainly listen,” Hextall said. “But I don’t think there’s a market there.” 

So the organization came to the American Airlines Center on Saturday focused on the draft at hand, and it started at the defense position, which the Flyers failed to address during the first round.

After snagging Adam Ginning to kick-start Day 2, the Flyers found that elusive right-handed defenseman by taking John St. Ivany with their fourth-round selection. St. Ivany developed through the Junior Kings program in L.A. before spending the past two years with Sioux Falls of the USHL. He will attend Yale University next season.

“Good size, moves well and solid with the puck,” Hextall said. “He was a good fit for our group.”

St. Ivany was the first right-handed defenseman the Flyers had selected since Mark Friedman in 2014, but the organization didn’t wait around to find another. Hextall and the scouts jumped at the opportunity to choose Wyatte Wylie, Carter Hart’s teammate with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.

Wylie wasn’t projected to be drafted when the season started, but he shot up the board with a very strong second half by contributing offensively.

“We like him. He was a fit for us,” Hextall said. “Kind of a guy you look before the draft and see where he fits and a guy that we targeted later in the draft. We like his game.” 

To some surprise, the Flyers picked Swedish goaltender Samuel Ersson one round later, a position Hextall didn’t believe the team would address in this year’s draft.

“We weren’t chasing a goalie,” Hextall said. “We like his size. We like his athleticism. We think there’s some upside there that hasn’t been tapped yet. We got him a lot later. Had we needed a goalie, we would have taken him a lot earlier.”

The Flyers found another college-bound forward with two-way center Gavin Hain, who self-admittedly struggled in his first year with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, calling last season a “tough” year.

“My first year away from home and all the adversity I faced,” Hain, who will attend North Dakota next season, said. “A new team and everything at the program. The NTDP itself is a hard-grooming place to play as a player, but it’s a great spot to develop. I struggled for a bit at times.”

After trading their first seventh-round selection, it left the Flyers with only the 205th overall pick, which they used to take Sweden’s Marcus Westfalt, and with that, for the first time in Flyers draft history, not a single Canadian was selected.

Hextall didn’t need the reminder.

“I know," he said. "I was hearing it at my table.”

More on the 2018 NHL draft

• Flyers' draft shows big year for USA Hockey

• Hextall surprised by Flyers' quiet draft weekend

• With O'Brien, Hextall shows he's 'never' one to be safe

• With Philly ties, Farabee can't wait to help Flyers

• Samuelsson continues family's NHL tradition

End to End: How should Flyers tackle their goalie situation?

End to End: How should Flyers tackle their goalie situation?

The topic: How should the Flyers tackle their goaltending situation?

John Boruk
I’ve been contemplating the goaltending quandary for the better half of the past month and how it might sort itself out. As we’ve discussed, there are six NHL/AHL caliber goaltenders at a table that seats just four.

For starters, we could have some clarity during the draft if general manager Ron Hextall makes a trade (or two) that would give the Flyers a draft pick, a prospect or a player that can help the team next season.

I expect Hextall to work the phones to find an interested team for Petr Mrazek, or inevitably he becomes a free agent on July 1.

Brian Elliott returns as the Flyers' No. 1 when 100 percent healthy.

Carter Hart is the future franchise netminder and he needs to play and play a lot, which is why you can pencil him in as the starter for Lehigh Valley to begin next season.

That leaves injury-plagued Michal Neuvirth, Anthony Stolarz (also returning from major knee surgery) and Alex Lyon. I just don’t see the organization parting ways with Stolarz (a 2012 second-round pick) until it knows with certainty what it has once he’s healthy.

I would take all five goaltenders into training camp come September and let the situation play itself out. There’s plenty of injury risk on this team so why deplete the position especially when you consider how last season unfolded.

Tom Dougherty
Guess what. As another summer approaches, we're left talking Flyers goaltending. Fun!

I don't know how the Flyers can go into next season trusting Neuvirth. He has another year left on his contract, but there are ways around that. Neuvirth is a talented goalie who can never stay healthy. He's unreliable and that's a problem.

The Flyers have a goalie numbers problem. Lyon and Stolarz are restricted free agents and Hart is turning pro. Unless Hart shocks all, he'll be with the Phantoms full-time.

If the Flyers' plan is to bring back both Elliott and Neuvirth, that leaves one spot open in Lehigh Valley and that spot belongs to Lyon. He earned another contract with his play down the stretch, in the AHL playoffs and his time with the Flyers last season.

It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Stolarz returns to the club. It's a shame because he lost his spot on the depth chart because of injury, but that's hockey. If Neuvirth comes back, it's safe to say one of the AHL goalies will see NHL time next season.

There's too much of an unknown with Stolarz's health to choose him over Lyon. Theoretically, both could come back. The Flyers own both of their rights. But I could see Hextall trading Stolarz to let him get a fresh start elsewhere.

If I was in charge, I would find a way to move on from Neuvirth and allow Lyon and Stolarz duke it out for the NHL backup job. The loser heads to Lehigh Valley to mentor Hart.

Jordan Hall
It's never a bad time to talk goalies in Philadelphia, right?

Currently, there's a boatload to break down.

I don't see a major problem heading into the season with Elliott and Neuvirth as your tandem again. If both are healthy — I understand that's a big if — they can be reliable and have shown that to the Flyers with stretches of play. Both goalies are on the final year of their contract, so you enter 2018-19 with those two as your guys and if they can't stay injury free, then the good thing is the organization has options.

Right now, it just feels like Stolarz is the odd man out. You can probably bet Hextall is working the phones a tad on Neuvirth, Stolarz and obviously Mrazek. A trade is more than possible, but Hextall won't decimate his depth just because the Flyers have a lot of players at one position.

Ultimately, I don't foresee any big surprises. Looks like Elliott-Neuvirth in Philly and Lyon-Hart waiting in the wings at Lehigh Valley.

More on Flyers' goalies

• Following 'gloomy' time, what's next for Elliott?

• Why Neuvirth's NHL career hinges on this offseason

Are Flyers next? How Hart won over his junior GM

• After incredible effort, Lyon solidifies case for contract