Announced on Monday, the team has re-signed forwards German Rubtsov and Linus Sandin to one-year, two-way deals that will carry a league-minimum $750,000 cap hit if they are on the NHL roster.
Unlike what EA Sports and their NHL franchise has taught hockey fans, a two-way deal does not mean that they are exempt from waivers. With a two-way, these players will be earning different salaries depending if they are playing in the NHL or AHL. And with the cap hit below the $1.075 million threshold, they will not affect the Flyers’ cap if they are in the AHL.
Rubtsov, 22, is certainly the more interesting player out of the two. The 2016 first-round pick has been sludging away in the minors for most of his early career and after scoring just 2 goals and 13 points through 42 games in Lehigh Valley with the Phantoms, was sent on loan to the HK Sochi of the KHL, where he was able to put up 11 points in 46 games.
Destined to be a depth NHL forward, the offensive punch that he put on display while in the Russian junior leagues has quickly evaporated. It will be interesting to get a closer post-loan look at the young forward and see where he stacks up in relation to more recently drafted newcomers on the Flyers depth chart.
For Sandin, this was his first year in the Flyers system and it was left with some big shrugs after being signed as a European free agent last offseason. The 25-year-old winger has been able to score at a solid pace in the SHL, but with 6 goals and 10 points through 26 games to make his North American hockey debut in Lehigh Valley, he might just be someone to depend on as a farm hand from now on.
Aside from potential upgrades Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher can make to his team, it might be a quiet summer for Philadelphia. Carter Hart, Nolan Patrick, and Travis Sanheim, are really the only significant players needing new deals and they’re really only losing Brian Elliott to free agency or retirement.
There’s going to be a lot of thumb-twirling for the next few months.