The Philadelphia Flyers were able to pull off quite the move this summer on the free-agent market. In the early hours of opening day of the free-agency market back on July 1st, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall landed James van Riemsdyk, signing him to a $35 million, five-year contract, the second-richest deal signed by an NHL unrestricted free agent when the market opened and John Tavares left the Islanders for his hometown team in Toronto.
Van Riemsdyk counts $7 million against the salary cap through 2022-23, which is currently third on the Flyers behind captain Claude Giroux at $8.275 million and winger Jakub Voracek at $8.25 million. This was by far Hextall’s biggest free agent signing and Philadelphia’s richest since giving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov $41.88 million on a nine-year deal in 2011.
On Friday, in an interview with the Post Courier ahead of the team's training camp, Hextall admitted that he does love the squad he has on hand, but that he is not done his shopping for the upcoming season. Hextall revealed that that he would like to add another piece up front, though he hasn't been able to find one so far.
"I’m open to it, but it would probably be more of a lateral move on the market rather than a free agent. It would be a forward. We’d like to add a penalty-killing forward but to this point there’s been nothing there that’s made enough sense for us to move."
The team currently has $ 10.2 million available under the salary cap, according to the information provided by Cap Friendly.
There is still, however, the major question surrounding the future of veteran forward Wayne Simmonds in Philadelphia. Simmonds did take part in 75 games last season, but required pelvis surgery once the Flyers exited the postseason. He’s entering the final season of the six-year, $23.5-million contract he signed in 2012. Hextall might not want to rush a long-term signing if his player is not healthy enough to honour it.
"Well, there’s no update. There’s really nothing to talk about for me to talk about publicly. The sentiments are the same. We like Simmer and we’d like to keep him, but I don’t have anything new to report."
We bet Hextall will remain as secretive as this in the days leading to this potential trade to add a boost upfront... Let's stay tuned.