7 Potential UFAs The Flyers Can Actually Afford

Flyers, Chuck Fletcher (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Flyers, Chuck Fletcher (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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It is no secret at all that Johnny Gaudreau has interest in playing for the Flyers, or that the feeling is very much mutual. Gaudreau grew up in South Jersey, a town called Salem, where he became a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. While there is speculation that he could wind up moving to the New Jersey Devils, it is likely that Gaudreau prefers Philadelphia because they are the team he actually grew up watching and loving. The only concern is fitting him into an already cramped salary cap.

Johnny Gaudreau has played in 602 NHL regular season games and has recorded 609 total points throughout them. He won the Hobey Baker award back in 2014 with Boston College, and the Lady Byng Trophy in 2016-17 with the Calgary Flames. Gaudreau has also been an All-Star five times in his career so far and set a new career high in points during the 2021-22 season with 115 points.

Johnny Hockey is a guy who the Flyers cannot afford to miss out on. Not only that, but Philadelphia seems to be Gaudreau’s top destination, which has to be incredibly rare for a top UFA to willingly sign with a team who finished bottom-five in the league standings the year before. The biggest issue is the Flyers’ cap room, though. Gaudreau is coming off of a cap hit from 2021-22 of $6.75m with the Calgary Flames. The Flyers don’t even have the cap room to sign him at his old contract’s value, and Gaudreau is projected to make at least $10.8m with whoever he signs his new contract with.

Fletcher talked a lot over the last year about “retooling” the Flyers organization to compete again through smart trades and signings, which has yet to happen. Now is the time to put his money where his mouth is–literally–and get some moves executed that can create the necessary cap space to sign Gaudreau and a few others from this in order to make a splash in the upcoming season.