Sep 21, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT
There’s nothing overly provocative about the four-year, $14.5 million extension the Flyers finalized with Matt Read on Friday evening. For once general manager Paul Holmgren didn’t sign a player into his late 30s, so we can all be grateful for that. The hockey community seems to stand in agreement this is nice value for a player of Read’s caliber at that.
If anything it was slightly surprising the Flyers did something long-term for Read. The 27-year-old’s name has popped up in several trade rumors, he was set to become a free agent next summer and the organization is constantly working against the salary cap. Homer made it clear though, both financially and through his words, that the club wants the winger in Philadelphia.
“We’re excited and happy we finally got this done,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “This has been going on for the better part of the summer. We’re happy and I’m sure Matt’s happy. He’s one of the young, core players on our team.”
Read posted 24 goals and 23 assists in 79 games as an undrafted rookie in 2011-12, and he was on pace for similar totals in a condensed 2013 season with 11 and 13 over 42. Not bad production for the price tag.
At the rate the front office is moving, Brayden Schenn might be next in line to receive an extension. Of the Flyers’ core players at forward, he is the only one whose current contract does not run through at least 2015 – 2016 if you subtract fourth-liner Zac Rinaldo. The younger Schenn becomes a restricted free agent at season’s end.
B. Schenn has yet to develop into a consistent scoring presence in two seasons in Orange & Black, but he’s only 22. The fifth-overall pick in ’09 was a key piece in the trade that sent Mike Richards to the LA Kings, and since then the Flyers have added Brayden’s brother Luke to the roster, both of which lead us to believe he’s not going anywhere anytime soon either.
Last season B. Schenn went over a month without finding the back of the net for one difficult stretch, finishing with a relatively disappointing eight scores for the season. He showed improvement as a distributor of the puck though with 18 helpers, plus continued to be among the league’s most physical forwards with 109 hits.
Whether the motivation is there on either side to get something done sooner rather than later remains to be seen. The team still controls B. Schenn’s destiny next year as an RFA, while he may be hoping for a big season to increase his value. It’s interesting however that – provided nobody is dealt – the Flyers will have much of their lineup set for years to come once they inevitably do extend Brayden.
Now the question becomes whether the core this front office has put together will be good enough to climb back into the Stanley Cup picture and become a perennial contender.
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