FLYERS UNDER WATER ON CAP SPACE: PRETENDERS, NOT CONTENDERS!

By Jenny Masters

The Flyers are on a mission to get better.

And they have made some moves, including cutting Oskar Lindblom and acquiring Tony DeAngelo.

But there is much more to do, and here’s The Athletic’s take on their cap space:

2022-23 salaries: $82,381,440
RFAs estimate: $3.8 million
Dead money deals: None
Notable unsigned UFAs: Martin Jones, Keith Yandle, Nate Thompson
Problem contract: Kevin Hayes
Projected cap space: -$3.7 million

Chuck Fletcher got himself a win-now coach (John Tortorella) for what he feels is a win-now roster — but it is, as ever, tough to see just how the Flyers are going to pull off that whole “aggressive retool” bit.

Forget about whether or not the current group is a couple high-profile players away from contention; finding a way to fit those players — <cough> Johnny Gaudreau <cough> — is a problem unto itself.

The level of desperation they showed in adding Tony DeAngelo, then extending him for $5 million AAV, is Example A.

Now, they’re projected to exceed the cap if any combination of RFAs Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost and Zack McEwan return.

So how are they supposed to have space to sign anyone else?

James van Riemsdyk, entering the last year of a deal that pays him $7 million annually, is the logical “send ’em to Arizona” candidate, and there are other players on the roster — Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny — who’d theoretically be attractive to other teams.

The bright side for Philly is that, should they be able to land Gaudreau, or Nazem Kadri, or whoever else they’re eyeing, the returns of Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis (assuming he does, indeed, return) will make them a better team.

A contender, though?

That’s a tougher sell.

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