The Flyers have some decisions moving forward. Some players may have to go. Others need to stick around at all costs. But what three players should the Flyers lock up now before they become too pricey for them.
Granted, a big part of this is going to be how much the Flyers have to spend. Will they move some high priced players? Will the salary cap increase bail them out? These questions will have to be sorted out later. But these are three guys the Flyers need to re-sign.
Noah Cates — (Current Deal $925,000)
It’s rare for a player to get yelled at by his coach because he is working too hard. But that happened this past January in regard to morning skates.
"“It pisses me off that he’s out on the ice. I’m gonna outlaw those skates because now it’s routine for those guys and it’s just so wrong.”"
The morning skates were mostly optional, but Cates was out there every single time. Cates’ response was that “I kind of like to say the hockey gods will reward you if you put in the work.” He is a hard worker and has become one of Tortorella’s go to guys. In his first full season, he scored 13 goals with 25 assists in 82 games. He averaged just shy of 18 minutes of ice time.
He graduated from the fourth line to being a top line center. Some of this was due to injuries, but some of this was because he straight up earned it. Some people, feel that this is just the beginning for Cates. He could end up being a top line center, in the mold of Sean Couturier and win a Selke Trophy.
Others think he should be considered for the Calder Trophy. While rookie phenom Matthew Beniers will probably take home the award, and rightfully so, there is a good reason to suggest that Cates deserves it too. He is a complete player, good on offense and defense. He is a hard worker and is dedicated to improving himself. This is the start of a great career. He needs to be locked up.
Nick Seeler — (Current Deal $775,000)
Seeler has only one year left on his contract. He is 29 years old. In that sense, he doesn’t fit in with the youth movement that the Flyers are doing right now. However, Seeler is turning heads.
The waiver wire pick up had a sensational season and has been talked about as the team’s steadiest pkayers..
"“I don’t think he was on a lot of people’s radar,” Tortorella said “I think he’s been one of our steadiest defenseman in his role and what he can do for a team. I think he’s been one of our steadiest players this year.”"
And now he is the Flyers nominee for the Masterton Trophy. Despite his general anonymity, some teams were looking at him at the trade deadline due to his low price tag and his abilities. In fact, it is surprising he wasn’t moved as he set career highs in games played (77), goals (4), assists (10), and points (14). He was also the only Flyers defender with 50+ games that had a positive +/- rating with a +1. In fact the only other player on the team with 50 games played, with a positive rating was the aforementioned Noah Cates with a +3.
Seeler may not fit the youth movement as the team is looking more at what Cam York, Egor Zamula, Ronnie Attard, and others can bring to the table. But, he is valuable. He’s shown that he is dedicated and will work hard to improve himself. Tortotella appreciates that; just like he did with Cates. I think he is worth a re-sign.
Owen Tippett — (Current Deal $1,500,000)
Owen Tippett is the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy winner for most improved player. It’s easy to see how that happened. In his first full season in Philly, he scored 27 goals, second only to Travis Konecny’s 31. He also had 22 assists to finish with 49 points; behind just Konecny and Kevin Hayes.
Is this the “Tip” of the iceberg? He had a hat trick. He scored two goals to secure the win over Columbus in the final home game of the season. The more comfortable he’s looked this season, the more he’s produced. Like many Flyers’ players this season, he can be streaky. But when he is on, he’s on.
His future is pretty bright. It’s looking more and more that the trade to acquire him for a two month rental of Claude Giroux was a steal. It’s time to ensure that by securing his services for years to come. He is going to be a centerpiece of this team for quite a while.