Tonight, here in 2017, it’s Michal Neuvirth who the Flyers are reportedly exploring a contract extension with as they plan for life beyond the 2016-17 season.
Flyers had contract talks with pending UFA goalie Michal Neuvirth today. TBD if a deal gets done or not...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 1, 2017
This could mean any number of things.
- They like Neuvirth and legitimately want him to be the starting goaltender next season. (This would be weird since uhhhhh, Neuvy has been #bad this year. No offense or anything, bro.)
- They are trying to sign Neuvirth so that they can protect Anthony Stolarz and leave Neuvirth up for grabs in the expansion draft.
- They are leaking to the media that they want to sign Neuvirth to give the illusion that they value him so that — maybe, just maybe — they can move him for something of value on Wednesday. (As we’ve discussed, that seems unlikely.)
- The idea of breaking up a family is just too much for Ron Hextall to handle.
Only one of these options bodes well for Steve Mason’s long term future in Philadelphia, and that’d be if the Flyers wind up trading Neuvirth before the deadline. In that scenario, Mason theoretically could return on a new contract this offseason -- but if we’re being honest, that seems far fetched as well.
There are lots of questions about the Flyers goalie situation beyond this season, and ... well, this just goes to show that fact. Stay tuned.