If there’s one thing that’s been synonymous with the Philadelphia Flyers throughout the last decade, it’s bad contracts.
Ilya Bryzgalov, Chris Pronger, RJ Umberger. You could field a full lineup of bad contracts the Flyers have signed players to. Currently, there are 3 major players on the roster who are considered by many to have “bad” contracts these three will be examined here as the 3 worst Flyers contracts are looked at and ranked, from a little overvalued, to an immoveable anchor.
1. Valtteri Filppula
High Potential: 2nd line winger
Low potential: 3rd or 4th liner
Contract: $5,000,000 for one year.
The man affectionately called “Flipper” was brought in at the deadline in a trade with Tampa Bay for Mark Streit, and is by far the most palpable contract of the three. His point output is solid, posting 42 in 79 games last year with the Lightning and Flyers combined. As well, he was very good with zone entries, something the Flyers consistently have trouble with on the offensive end. A forward who can consistently enter and set up in the zone is very valuable especially for a team like the Flyers who can at some times seem jumbled going forward. Another plus about Filppula is the fact that his $5,000,000 cap hit is only on the Flyers’ books for the upcoming season, before he becomes a UFA. So this is actually quite convenient of a situation for the Flyers, if he shows well and is valuable, then he can return at a much lower price, if not, the Flyers can shed all of his five million and use that money somewhere else. All in all, Filppula will be the least of the Flyers’ worries and could be a useful asset this upcoming season.
2. Matt Read
High Potential: 3rd line Winger
Low Potential: Healthy Scratch
Contract: $3,625,000 for one year
Read, 30, was rewarded with a four-year contract extension after his rookie season that landed him fourth in Calder Trophy voting. Now, in the last year of his contract, it is clear that season was more of a mirage than the start of a trend. Read’s point output has dropped every season since his rookie year, and this past season he did not even reach double digits in goals. However, his relative Corsi was at a 3.6, while his Corsi For was at a 54.5%, both above league averages. But even while advanced stats are a little kinder to Read, the production needs to improve, as wingers are flooding in to fill Read’s spot. Michael Raffl, Scott Laughton, and Oskar Lindblom will all be given ample opportunities to take Read’s roster spot, especially if he continued his mediocre scoring. While it is possible Read bounces back to reform his partnership with Sean Couturier on the third line, it is equally possible that he could be a healthy scratch a couple months into the season if his production does not increase. But even in spite of that, Read only has one year left on his deal, and that leaves the Flyers with a lot of flexibility at the end of next season.
3. Andrew MacDonald
High Potential: 3rd pairing veteran mentor.
Low Potential: AHL Bound
Contract: $5,000,000 per year for 3 years.
By far and away the worst contract the Flyers have signed so far is the infamous Andrew MacDonald deal. One of the worst contracts in the NHL, it is difficult to really find a positive angle to take. He has proven to be a third pairing defenseman in the NHL, and is currently making about three million or more per year than most sixth defenseman, which makes it very hard to defend the contract at all. As for MacDonald as a player, he could theoretically be a good veteran presence for the incoming young defenseman as well as being more of a defensive presence to compliment some of the Flyers more offensively oriented d-men. However, last year he was more than often a burden to whoever he was placed with. Ill-timed giveaways, bad passes, and sluggishness all plagued MacDonald for much of the season, leading him to a minus 5, a paltry 18 points in 73 games, and a horrid relative Corsi of -4.0 on the season. At the absolute best, he could be a decent third pairing veteran, but at his worst he is AHL quality. Thi contract is flat out awful, and just for comparison, Roman Josi, John Klingberg, and Cam Fowler are all making less than MacDonald per year.