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The Flyers in Franchise Hockey Manager - Part 11 - Foes become friends

After winning the cup, we hope not to get complacent.

NHL: MAR 04 Flyers at Capitals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2019-20: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

2020-21: Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10


Now back from a self-imposed break, the Flyers in FHM series is back!

Last when we left off, the Flyers had just won the 2021 Stanley Cup, defeating the Dallas Stars four games to two. Now, we reach the offseason, where I have some key decisions to make, the first of which are my impending free agents.

There are four this year: Carter Hart, Felix Sandstrom, Travis Sanheim, and Matt Niskanen. Personally, signing Carter Hart is the utmost priority, and I went into his negotiations willing to compromise. He really, really wanted a bridge deal, and was unwilling to even consider going long term. In the end, a two year, $6.5 million AAV contract was agreed upon.

Felix Sandstrom only requested two years at $950K AAV, which for a backup goalie I was very eager to agree to. Travis Sanheim only wanted a very slight raise, and so at three years, $3.55 million AAV, that was a no brainer. Matt Niskanen, on the other hand, wasn’t a very regular player this season, and was wanting slightly more in negotiations than I was willing to bargain for, and as such, I’ve made the decision to let him go.

The 2021 Draft

Next on the agenda is the draft, and due to the trades I’ve made, we don’t have a ton of picks. We own four of them (oh no), in rounds 1, 2, 6, and 7. Here is who I went for in each round:

Round 1, 31st overall - Daniil Chayka, Guelph Storm (OHL)

He’s a big, two way defenseman who’s a decent skater and has an eye for a pass. My scouts rate him slightly lower than consensus (3.5 star potential versus 4 star) but I’m confident he can develop well. In real life, he put up 34 points in 56 games for Guelph as a 17 year old, and to be that big at that size (essentially already NHL big) makes for a nearly sure-thing prospect if he gets there skills wise.

Round 2, 62nd overall - Oleksii Myklukha, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)

He’s a decent sized center who, in the real world, bounced around U18 leagues in Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic before moving over to the ‘Q’ for 2019-20. He hasn’t done much yet, but in the game, he just came off a 62 points in 62 games season, and is looking to be a good playmaker. My scouts don’t know a ton about him, but he comes well recommended elsewhere, and consensus puts him at a 3.5 star potential. He’s very much a “risk and reward” type of prospect.

Round 6, 186th overall - Robin Meyer, HC Freibourg Gottéron U18 (Switzerland)

Now I could not find this guy anywhere on Elite Prospects or otherwise, so I guess he may be the first re-gen prospect we get (players who aren’t real that the game generates to keep time going). Regardless, he plays center and is not a huge guy, but has the making of a sniper/power forward according to league consensus. He’s listed at 4-4.5 star potential, and again, isn’t very well known so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Round 7, 217th overall - Kieran Brown, Sheffield Steelers (EIHL, UK)

I had to pick a guy from the EIHL, I just had to.

I doubt Brown will be an NHL player, but hey it would be cool if he was! He plays RW and looks to be a potential goalscoring winger, which is a useful position to have. In the game, he made the jump from the NIHL (one of the many leagues underneath the EIHL) to the Steelers of the top tier EIHL, and last season scored 14 points in 51 games. Not great, but hey who knows.

Free agents, trades, and everything else

Before the calendar hit July 1st, I signed three prospects to NHL entry level deals: Cam York, Yegor Serdyuk, and Adam Beckman. They’ll likely start out 2021-22 on the Phantoms. Beckman, in particular, impressed me with a 95 point (in 68 game) season for Spokane in the WHL.

Upon the sim forward to the new in-game year, some interesting news popped up: John Tortorella has retired! Evidently he just got sick of everything and has decided to move on from hockey.

Otherwise, with only $1.0 million left in cap space, I’m fairly tied up then with the things I can do this offseason. Kevin Hayes is a good player in this game, but not a great one and I could use with the cap space trading him would free up, but he has a no movement clause and he vetoes nearly every possible move I try to make.

Remember, he’s only a 2.5 star player and his $7.0 million plus cap hit could be invested elsewhere, so don’t be mad when I tell you I did manage to work a move for him. In the end, he waived his no movement clause to be traded to the Dallas Stars, who we just beat in the cup final. In return, we get a second and third round pick in the 2022 draft. Thank you Kevin, for all you’ve done for us.

This then left free space to pursue some free agents, and ho boy there are a lot of good ones this year.

Like...maybe this fellow:

I tried my best.jpg

Yes, we signed Alex Ovechkin, which will likely conclude our business, and add even more of a scoring threat to our already potent power play.

Meaning, that barring injury, our lineup looks like this:

Of course, Ovi is gonna play PP1, with Giroux, DeBrincat, Forsberg, and Krug in a sort of a 1-3-1 power play. Here is what that looks like thanks to this coaching website. I really want to get Ovi open on that left hand side, and so Giroux will play the middle but serve as a playmaker more instead of who you’d feed it to. Ovechkin and DeBrincat, in the meanwhile, will play left and right, with Forsberg in the low slot and Krug up high.

Well, anyway, that will do it for today’s episode. Next time I see you, we’ll be at the start of the 2021-22 regular season!

#NoworNever