Even after an already hectic offseason for Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher, he had two more things to do and with the team electing for salary arbitration with restricted free agent defenseman Travis Sanheim, it was really just one thing left to do. And on Monday, they did it.
Announced by the team, the Flyers have re-signed goaltender Carter Hart to a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.979-million, a nod to his No. 79 jersey.
This new deal is Hart’s first contract with the team since signing his entry-level deal way back in 2016, almost immediately after the Flyers drafted him in the second round. Since then, he’s already had a rollercoaster of a career in just three professional years at the young age of 22.
Destined to be the Goaltender of the Future after averaging a .916 save percentage during his first two seasons with the Flyers and in the NHL, Hart has slipped a bit during his pandemic-fueled shortened season, posting some horrifically historic numbers — like an .877 save percentage in 27 appearances. This extension with a decently sized cap hit clearly signifies that the Flyers think that season was a fluke, as they could have gone the same route as they did with Sanheim and go to arbitration, to get a quick one or two-year deal done for likely less money.
With Hart’s contract on the books, the Flyers officially have just over $4 million in cap space remaining and 21 players on the roster, not including the upcoming new contract for Sanheim. There will be some re-shuffling during training camp and before their season-opener on Oct. 15 against the Vancouver Canucks that will get them under the cap ceiling with the appropriate amount of players on their active roster.
If Hart can perform more like his former non-pandemic-season self during the stretch of this contract, Philadelphia will be getting an absolute bargain in between the pipes compared to what other teams around the league are paying for similar netminders.