Phil Myers: Long Term or Short Term Deal with Flyers?

Philippe Myers, Philadelphia Flyers (Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Philippe Myers, Philadelphia Flyers (Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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With the qualifying offer period over, what could a Phil Myers contract with the Flyers look like?

Phil Myers was one of three Flyers‘ players that were extended a qualifying offer. Nolan Patrick accepted his and is now under contract for next season. The offer to Mikhail Vorobyev was simply to keep his rights as he is in the KHL. When it comes to Myers, he is not yet eligible for arbitration so the qualifying offer was the next thing to do.

The deadline for him to accept the offer was October 18th. We are now five days past that date and there has been no word. He was unlikely to accept the offer as he is presumably looking to make more than what he would’ve been given through that avenue. So that part is not a surprise. What comes as somewhat of a surprise is there we haven’t heard much about a contract in the works.

Of course, there could always be something going on behind the scenes and the two sides could be working on something. But with about $4.8M in cap space to work with, it could take most of that to keep Myers under contract. Even if the Flyers decide to go the bridge-deal route, one would think that Myers would want close to $2M per season, right?

He is quickly blossoming into one of the Flyers’ best defenseman. He has been a diamond in the rough signing ever since the team invited him to their training camp in 2015. From there, he has only proven that it was the right decision to bring him aboard.

The team could argue, however, that Myers doesn’t have the pedigree as of yet to look for a big payday. While the team is clearly high on him, he still has under 100 games of NHL experience. His numbers also don’t scream huge payday. His usage plays a factor into that, but he doesn’t have the same offensive ceiling as someone like Travis Sanheim.

In Myers’ case, he can argue that the Flyers relied on him heavily during the postseason. He jumped up to just over 20 minutes-per-game after averaging around 17 minutes during the regular season. He also produced three goals and one assist. So he stepped up when the games got tougher. Though, his pairing did get torched quite a bit during the Islanders’ series.

A short-term deal, no matter what would be more likely to happen for Myers and the Flyers. It would be difficult for them to go long-term for multiple reasons. There is not a lot of background that the team could go on. Myers hasn’t put up a lot of points. And the Flyers probably don’t have the money to make it happen. A deal over two or three years likely puts Myers above a $4M cap hit.

They could move some out, of course, and that could still come in the form of someone like Shayne Gostisbehere. He is still looking like the odd-man-out after Robert Hagg’s re-signing and the addition of Erik Gustafsson. Those rumors have cooled considerably, though, so he could still find a way to remain.

It all depends on how the Flyers truly see Myers. Do they believe he has a higher ceiling than what he has shown thus far? He is only 23-years-old and should be entering his prime during the next few seasons. But what might that look like? He hardly sees power-play time, averaging just eight seconds of ice time there. Ivan Provorov and Sanheim seem to have those roles ahead of him.

Gostisbehere could also assume that role as well if he is able to make his way back into the lineup. Can Myers put up more points without that added time? He averaged 0.32 points-per-game this season. He stepped up and was rewarded with a much bigger role on the second pairing with Sanheim. The bigger role saw him produce four goals and 16 points. And that was in 50 games.

A full season could see Myers around the 30-point mark. Until then, it is fair for both sides to look more towards the short-term deal. It gives him more time to prove to the Flyers that he is worth the big payday after his contract ends. It would also give the team more money to work with, assuming the cap goes back up in a few years.

Assuming all of that happens, Myers would then be able to have a better argument in why he would be worth the long-term gamble at that point. And the Flyers have a better chance of listening. So let’s say a two-year deal with a cap hit around that $2M mark. It would help them out even more if they could get under that. It would give the team a bit of cap flexibility and gives Myers an opportunity to show the team that he is worth it.