The Philadelphia Flyers are putting together a team that is young and potentially has a lot of firepower. Young guys like Bobby Brink and Joel Farabee are proving their worth alongside key veterans like Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson, and Sean Couturier. One of the brightest surprises last year was Owen Tippett.
The 24 year old winger has made a lot of strides since coming over to Philadelphia from Florida in the trade for Claude Giroux. That deal is looking, more and more, like a steal every day. He broke out last year, scoring 27 goals with 22 assists. His 49 points were good for third on the team while his goals were behind only Konency.
So far this season, Tippett has picked up where he left off. He has scored two goals with six assists. That’s on pace, right now, for about 15 goals with 42 assists. He seems to be very popular within the clubhouse and has connected with his linemates well. With this in mind, maybe it might be good to lock him up with a long term deal.
If you look at the commitments handed out to players beyond the 2024-25 season, the cupboard is pretty bare. Couturier is signed up for a while as is Travis Sanheim. Farabee is locked in for five more seasons. Scott Laughton and Nic Deslauriers are signed on for three more years. That’s it. Most of this team are aging vets signed on for one or two more years or young players on rookie/entry level deals. However, we also have to remember that Philly is paying on the contracts for Kevin Hayes for three more seasons as well as Tony DeAngelo for two.
Tippett has performed well so far in his Flyers career. It might be wise to extend him now while he is cheap. Anthony DiMarco of The Fourth Period, suggests that Philly could look at the deal that Tampa Bay gave Brandon Hagel. Hagel, 25, is signed to a five year deal that will pay him $6.5 million a season. Hagel has topped the 20 goal mark three times and lit the lamp 30 times last season.
Hagel is a good player, but Tippett is not at the level yet. The hard thing with young players is that you want to retain their services, but you don’t want to overpay for them if they turn out to be a bust (Matt Read). At the same time, you don’t want to insult them with a salary that is beneath them.
Farabee signed an extension that pays him $5 million a year. To be honest, that is probably a fair place to start with Tippett; somewhere in the $4.5-6 million a year range. Keeping him on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center will be crucial to the team’s future. More importantly, the Flyers won’t be cash strapped to the point where they won’t be able to sign any of their other young and up and coming stars.
Philly’s future is looking bright. Keeping Tippett in town will be an important piece to the long term future of this team. Also, keeping him around will inspire other young players, like Brink, Noah Cates, and Tyson Foerster that if they continue to play well, they could be similarly rewarded.