Now five points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers are looking like they'll be sellers on Monday at the trade deadline. As a result, any pending unrestricted free agents on the roster become possible rental players for contenders.
Michael Raffl was one such option. But it looks like Ron Hextall and the Flyers have no intention of letting the forward hit free agency, according to James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe & Mail.
Flyers working to re-sign Michael Raffl. Doesn't look like he'll be a rental player.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 24, 2016
In his three seasons as a Flyer, Raffl has proven to be a useful if unspectacular scorer. He did net 21 goals last season, but he's only been able to score nine in 59 games so far in 2015-16 despite mostly playing on the team's top three lines.
However, Raffl has always been a darling of advanced statistics. His career NHL 5-on-5 Points/60 is 1.43, putting him in the range of a solid third line scorer. In addition, his on-ice shot attempt differentials have always been stellar. So far in his NHL career, he has posted a 5.1% Corsi Relative to his teammates. With Raffl on the ice, the Flyers generate a strong 53.77% of the overall shot attempts, and when he is sitting on the bench, that number drops to 48.67%.
Some of that is due to extended time playing alongside Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, but it doesn't account for everything. In fact, Raffl has still posted a solid 51.6% Corsi away from the two stars.
The 27-year old forward likely won't be too expensive, but it's fair to assume that the average annual value of an extension will fall somewhere in the $2.0 - $3.0 million per year range. Obviously, the Flyers would like to keep his AAV as low as possible, while Raffl will want a solid financial commitment and long-term security.
That's what negotiations are for. And apparently, both the Flyers and Raffl are already talking, which makes it unlikely that the forward will be moved in the coming week.