In perhaps a shocking turn of events, we’ve actually had quite a bit of hockey news to discuss this week, and we even have a little bit more to talk about (and it’s pretty specifically Flyers related, so that’s fun!).
Not to be lost in all of the news that hockey may be coming back at some point in the somewhat distant future, we have a deadline coming up after this weekend! Even as other dates are being pushed back, this one remains unmoved, as the Flyers will still have until June 1 (that’s Monday, for anyone who’s still losing track of the days here) to sign defensemen prospects Linus Hogberg and David Bernhardt before losing their rights.
For those asking, the league isn't postponing the June 1 'Must Sign By' date related to the list of players we sent out earlier this week.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 28, 2020
The June 1 deadline being postponed is the one found in CBA 50.8 (d) which allows clubs to sign players to contracts that start next season. pic.twitter.com/85ZyMbebox
Hogberg is coming off of a pretty solid season with Vaxjo of the SHL, where he registered five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 50 games (though just a 48.58 CF% over that time). Bernhardt, though, didn’t have quite as smooth of a season, as he only played nine games with Vaxjo (where he recorded zero points), before moving on to SaiPa in Liiga, where he played 33 games and recorded one goal and six assists.
So that’s who we’re looking at, now is there a fit, here? It’s possible! As it stands, the Phantoms only have five defensemen under contract for next season (assuming, as I do, that Mark Friedman graduates to the NHL more or less full time), so there is a spot up for grabs. And, as the prospect with the higher upside, it’s safe to assume that Hogberg would be the one to get that spot.
Now, it is an open question whether, just because they can sign Hogberg, if they will. It isn’t really clear how high the new management group is on him, and they haven’t been as outspoken about their particular interest or investment in him as they have been with some other prospects, so that will certainly play a role in the decision. But also impacting things will be, well, whatever’s going on with Wyatt Kalynuk. If the Flyers have a pretty good idea that he’s going to look into signing elsewhere and they don’t really want to dip into free agency to fill in that roster spot, signing Hogberg seems like the play. But if Kalynuk’s camp has made it clear that he’s interested in signing with the Flyers, then things get a little trickier. Kalynuk intending to sign with the Flyers doesn’t preclude them from also signing Hogberg, but it does leave them with a bit of a logjam to deal with.
This is all just to say that there seem to be a lot of moving parts, and the Flyers have a lot to parse through as they look to make a decision on this in the next couple of days.
Either way, if signings are made or rights are expiring, we’ll have some news coming up, so keep your eyes peeled, heading into the weekend, folks!