After a long, arduous battle over the stipulations of his new contract this offseason, Travis Sanheim finally agreed to a new contract with the Flyers: two years at a $4.675 million AAV. This represents a slight, but not enormous pay raise for Sanheim, which will certainly be a polarizing outcome within the eyes of the fanbase. Still, the price and term is around what most models projected the still-young defender to receive. Evolving-Hockey.com’s contract projections pegged Sanheim at two years for $4.303 million AAV, which isn’t too far off from what the Flyers ended up paying.
Basic Stats (2020-21 Season)
Sanheim is coming off of a season where he had awful on-ice results despite solid underlying numbers. Costly mistakes and strong analytics have been staples of the big blue liner’s career in Philadelphia, making him an interesting case for arbitration. Looking at the whole of Sanheim’s work in the NHL within the context of an advanced metrics-driven perspective would likely argue that he’s worth more than the deal he was signed to.
The Flyers now technically have -$643,523 in cap space, but are fine due to the ability to exceed the salary cap by ten percent in the offseason. However, it does put them in a precarious position when it comes to running a 23-man roster as opposed to just 22:
Barring a trade or reworking of the roster, it now looks like the Flyers are going to roll with a 22-man roster to start the year. That's the only way they can fit everyone under the $81.5 million cap ceiling, to my eyes. Can't fit 23 without moving somebody out.— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) August 21, 2021
With the season just 55 days away, signing Sanheim solidifies the outlook of the roster heading into 2021-22.