Earlier today, rumors popped up that Flyers forward Michael Raffl was on the Florida Panthers' radar in trade talks. The Panthers have since acquired forwards Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell in separate trades, so it seems likely that they are off the Raffl market.
While that all has happened, it sounds like the Flyers are still in conversations with teams about Raffl, but it also appears that Ron Hextall and is more than ready to extend the 27-year old winger if no team is willing to meet their trade demands.
Via TSN's Travis Yost:
Philadelphia Flyers are within $250K on Raffl. (Asking price on him is two second round picks.)— Travis Yost (@travisyost) February 27, 2016
Philadelphia situation with Raffl is pretty straightforward. If they get their price, they'll move him. If not, they'll extend. (1/2)— Travis Yost (@travisyost) February 28, 2016
My understanding is that the two sides remain extremely close on extension. Sensing PHI just playing this smart, seeing what's there. .— Travis Yost (@travisyost) February 28, 2016
As a pending unrestricted free agent, it always made sense to see what Raffl could bring in trade for a Flyers team that would likely not be making a big run in the playoffs this year. But it's clear that the organization thinks highly of him, based on the reported asking price of two second-round picks -- certainly a steep one for a rental winger who doesn't put up huge counting stats.
The news that the Flyers and Raffl are close on an extension -- an extension there were rumblings about earlier this week -- is also a welcomed revelation. While it's good that the team is keeping its options open with Raffl and will likely let this play out until the deadline strikes in hopes of getting the return they want, it's also nice to know that they see Raffl's value and will likely have no issue reaching an agreement to bring him back if he's not traded.
Whatever the end result is, it seems likely we'll have clarity on this soon -- presumably by the end of the day on Monday, by which point Raffl will either be dealt or extended.