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Why a recent RFA signing could inch the Flyers closer to a deal with Travis Konecny

Could a signing from their division rivals actually help the Flyers?

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

While the Flyers were able to sign one of their remaining restricted free agents on TuesdayNicolas Aube-Kubel— it was a signing from another team that really caught our eye.

That would be the Capitals announcing a two-year, $3.35 million deal for Jakub Vrana. The “bridge” deal as it’s come to be known, gets the 23-year-old inked for a pair of seasons at relative cost control for the team while also giving the player the ability to hit unrestricted free agency in short time to try and cash in for a bigger deal.

The kicker here for the Flyers is that they’re also waiting to get a deal done with an RFA of their own, another winger to boot in Travis Konecny. There’s also that Ivan Provorov guy, but sorry no top defensemen from the RFA class signed yesterday.

As for Konecny, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher has stumbled onto a pretty decent comparable for his 22-year-old winger, and should use it to try and speed up the process of getting TK signed.

Vrana is coming off of a 47 point season (24 goals, 23 assists) while TK registered 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in his 2018-19 campaign. Both are super productive at even strength, with 41 of TK’s points coming at 5-on-5 with Vrana notching 43 of his own. Neither have had much of a chance to impact on the power play with both seeing second unit minutes, but both provide ample production in other situations to cement their value.

If you go off of just 2018-19 alone, you’d probably be able to peg a bridge deal for TK at close to or almost the exact same rate as the Caps gave Vrana, but you also need to factor in that TK has provided two seasons of that kind of production while Vrana just has the one.

Konency now has back-to-back 47 point seasons under his belt while Vrana enjoyed his breakout campaign this season after just 27 points two seasons ago. Even though Vrana’s role increased this past season, Konecny’s camp can still point to his extra year of production as an easy argument for more cash than Vrana got on his deal.

The question would be just how much more TK’s camp could ask for above the $3.35 million that Vrana was able to get on his two year deal. Given that the Flyers’ cap situation —and the dearth of good, young defensemen in the league— we would figure that Provorov would be the one that would be getting a long-term extension with Konecny receiving the bridge deal. With about $13.4 million in cap space per Capfriendly, the Flyers can afford about $4 million to budget for TK’s bridge deal to leave space for a potential Provorov deal somewhere down the line.

EvolvingWild has done a really nice job projecting some of the UFA and RFA deals signed this summer and has Konency pegged for $3.316 million for two years. Given what Vrana just got, expect it to come in a little higher. In case you were curious, they’ve got Provorov listed with a project six-year deal carrying a $6.6 million cap hit. If those projections come true, the Flyers will have done very, very well here with their two remaining RFA’s.

Here’s to hoping that Fletcher and the Flyers wrap up both Konency and Provorov soon so we can move on and focus clearly on the Maple Leafs and the Mitchell Marner saga. Kidding.