While they were wrapping up their draft goings-on this past Saturday, the Flyers apparently snuck a minor move in under the radar, as they gave restricted free agent defenseman Mark Alt a one-year, two-way contract extension. The contract was first reported and confirmed on Saturday night by capfriendly.com, which says that the deal will pay Alt $100,000 at the AHL level and $625,000 at the NHL level.
Alt, who turns 25 in October, came over to the Flyers in a trade days after the 2012-13 lockout ended, as the Hurricanes sent him and Brian Boucher to the Flyers basically for free. He's spent the last three years playing for the Phantoms, with a single NHL game to his name.
He tallied four goals and 15 assists in 72 games with Lehigh Valley this past season. Potentially more of note is the fact that Alt spent almost all of this past season paired with Samuel Morin, one of the Flyers' key defensive prospects. The pair apparently did much of the heavy lifting against the other team's best players most nights, a responsibility that the Phantoms may not have been comfortable giving Morin without Alt there next to him.
So in all likelihood, Alt will be back at the AHL level, again there to help the likes of Morin and Travis Sanheim. And he can make a spot appearance at the NHL level if necessary.
The Flyers have until 5:00 p.m. on Monday to extend qualifying offers to their remaining restricted free agents. If they do not, those players will become unrestricted free agents. Here are those players:
- Brayden Schenn
- Nick Cousins
- Jordan Weal
- Brandon Manning
- Petr Straka
- Brandon Alderson
- Derek Mathers
Schenn and Cousins are locks to receive offers, which they will both likely decline as they try and negotiate a better contract. Manning is probably also going to receive one, though it's no guarantee. Alderson and Mathers both seem unlikely to receive offers after both of them spent significant time in the ECHL over the past couple of seasons.
The only real questions are whether or not Jordan Weal and Petr Straka will be kept on board by the Flyers. Weal spent most of the season in the press box following the trade that sent him to Philadelphia in January. While it's unlikely there's a place for him in the Flyers' opening-night lineup, it's possible that the team may like to keep him around as a press box body next year, or that they'll try to sneak him through waivers and send him to the Phantoms before the season starts. As for Straka, Highland Park Hockey's Tony Androckitis reported a couple of days ago that the Flyers were trying to negotiate a deal with him. Like Weal, he doesn't fit into the NHL picture as of now but would definitely help out the Phantoms.