Only an hour after the final horn sounded in the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues, the club announced that they had signed Austrian forward Michael Raffl to a multi-year contract extension. The terms of the deal were released shortly thereafter. The deal is for two years and $2.2 million. Raffl will be 27 years old and an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2015-2016 season. Raffl has been the source of much discussion on Broad Street Buzz lately, both here and here.
This deal is a good one for the Flyers. Raffl has been one of their most versitile forwards this season. He has played on all four lines, he has played center and wing, and he has had both offensive and defensive roles. Ultimately, for $1.1 million a year, Raffl’s new deal will be a bargain.
If there was any thought that Steve Downie would retained after this season, this contract may put that to rest. Raffl’s tenacity on the boards, his skating, and his under-rated puck handling make Raffl the perfect candidate for the wing of Read and Couturier. Raffl used those same skills to have a successful run on the top line earlier in the season.
This season Raffl has 9 goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 58 games. He averages 12:54 TOI per game and is currently skating on the fourth line. His advanced stats are good, too. He has drawn 3 more penalties than he has taken this season, his CF% rel is +2.8%, and his quality of competition is relatively high.
Ultimatley, Raffl is a good player to have on the team for the next two years. He spent the beginning of the season adjusting to the smaller North American rink and seems to have adjusted quite well. His cap hit is small enough that it will not hinder the Flyers long term/summer plans. It’s a good day for Michael Raffl and a good day for the Philadelphia Flyers.