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Flyers sign RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel to contract extension

Forward inks two-year deal worth 1.075M annually to stay in Philly

by Philadelphia Flyers @NHLFlyers / philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value (AAV) of $1.075M, according to President of Hockey Operations & General Manager, Chuck Fletcher.

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Meltzer: Hart at Work

Carter Hart resumes gym workouts, already preparing for 2020-21

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

It is customary for National Hockey League players to take a few weeks off after the end of their teams' seasons in order to decompress and rest their bodies.

For players whose teams were in the Bubble in Toronto and/or Edmonton, the compacted schedule and typically physical and intense nature of the Stanley Cup Playoffs presented an endurance challenge.

When Flyers goaltender Carter Hart returned home following the Flyers seven-game loss to the New York Islanders in their Second Round series, he initially planned to take some time off before he resumed his training regimen. 

That didn't last very long.

Video: Hart - End of season

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Exit Interview: AV Dissects the Season

Flyers bench boss talks 2019-20, bubble and playoff lessons learned

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

It has been more than a week since the Philadelphia Flyers were badly outplayed in a Game 7 shutout loss to the New York Islanders in their Second Round playoff series. The team's performance in the final game -- after back-to-back overtime wins to take the series to the limit -- still gnaws at Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault.

"That Game 7 is very painful in the way we played, other than that first six minutes of that game. The rest of the game is definitely not what I expected," Vigneault said on Monday during a remote media availability.

"What I'm looking forward to do from that game is to talk to the players one on one."

Vigneault said that some of the upcoming conversations -- both during the offseason and in an eventual training camp before the 2020-21 season -- may be difficult at times. However, he feels the long-term result will be a team that has a clearer understanding of the elevated level of performance needed to make a deeper run in the playoffs than battling uphill and losing in the conference semifinals.

"There are quite a few guys that I need to sit down with, need to figure out their thoughts and what they think happened because it is a moment that we can use to grow. Those moments aren't easy. They're not fun. That's definitely not a fun part of my coaching career, but it is a teachable moment. It is a growing moment for our organization and we're going to use it," Vigneault said.

Vigneault emphasized three overarching, interconnected themes that will be vital to getting to the next level.

 

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Offseason Agenda: Flyers Free Agents

Chuck Fletcher discussed how the flat cap will create challenges for NHL teams

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

For the next three seasons, the National Hockey League's salary cap ceiling and floor are likely to remain flat. In his Exit Day media availability on Thursday, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher discussed how the flat cap will create challenges for many teams, including Philadelphia, to do much maneuvering to fill needs via unrestricted free agency while also ensuring that notable internal restricted agents coming off their entry-level deals are appropriately compensated in their next contracts.

"There's a lot of teams right now that don't have cap space already. The teams that do have cap space over the next three years, every one of them has some young players that are going to get raises, potentially big raises. Teams that spend money on UFA's this summer and have young players aren't necessarily going to have any more money in year two and year three," Fletcher said.

"Eventually by the time you get to year three, how much liquidity is there really going to be in the system? It's going to be tight for everybody. Does that mean prices come down on free agents? Does that encourage more hockey trades, dollar for dollar trades? Possibly. I think that from a logical standpoint, that could make sense, but we'll see. There's several teams worse off than we are. We're one of a group of teams that has enough room to do our business but not a ton of room. Then there's a handful of teams that do have some room. Some of them may not even spend at the cap, depending on the realm of their internal situations. There's not a lot of liquidity in the system at all, so it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out."

For these reasons, Fletcher said that he does not anticipate the Flyers being aggressive in going after the biggest names in the unrestricted free agent market in the near future. That does not mean the situation could not change or that he would not look for potentially beneficial UFAs who are available at team-friendly terms. 

In terms of the trade market, Fletcher said that he plans to work the phones and see what opportunities exist. Trades, of course, also carry salary cap implications both in the average annual value (AAV) being absorbed or divested and in the remaining term on the deal(s) in question. This can also affect flexibility to pursue unrestricted free agents.

Here's a look at the Flyers' own free agents this offseason, both restricted and unrestricted. We have also noted which RFAs are eligible to file for salary arbitration.

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Playoffs: What Worked, What Didn't

A breakdown of what worked for the Flyers in the postseason, and where the team stands to improve

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

In the big picture, the Philadelphia Flyers 2019-20 regular season and playoffs were a step in the right direction. The team was within the top four in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, won 19 of their last 26 regular seasons and 9 of 10 games immediately before the leaguewide pause. They swept the three-game round robin with Boston, Washington and Tampa Bay to enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Thereafter, the team came within one win of reaching the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2010.

Young players such as Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers advanced during the season. Sean Couturier was a Selke Trophy finalist. Oskar Lindblom took a major step forward offensively early in the season and then battled all the way back from Ewing's Sarcoma to achieve remission and then rejoin the Flyers lineup for Games 6 and 7 of the second round of the playoffs.

However, it's hard to accurately call the Flyers playoff performance "satisfying" once the round-robin ended. Philadelphia was outplayed in much of the First Round series with Montreal, despite winning in six games. In the Second Round against the Islanders, New York drove the play in two of the three regulation periods across at least four of the games in the series, and carried the play in all three periods of Game 7 apart from the first six minutes of the game. In all seven games of the Second Round, there was at least one period in which the Flyers were heavily out-chanced. 

Here's a look at four things that went right for the Flyers in the 16-game postseason, and four that went wrong.

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Sean Couturier Wins Frank J. Selke Trophy

Couturier is the third Flyer to win the award in franchise history

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers

The National Hockey League announced this evening that Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the 2019-20 season as "the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." Couturier was named the winner based on voting by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He is just the third Flyer to win the Selke and the first in 33 years, joining Dave Poulin (1987) and Bob Clarke (1983).

Couturier was a finalist for the award along with Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Ryan O'Reilly of the St. Louis Blues. Couturier received 117 first-place votes and was included on 163 of the 170 ballots cast. It was his second time as a finalist for the Selke after finishing second in the voting following the 2017-18 season.

Video: Couturier named Selke recipient, speaks to media

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Exit Day: 5 Key Quotes from Fletcher

Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher spoke with media to dissect what went right and wrong with the team's 2019-20 season

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher spoke with members of the media to dissect what went right and wrong with the team's 2019-20 season, which ended with the team falling one win short of reaching the Eastern Conference Final but never finding the same all-around groove in the playoffs that they had during the regular season. Fletcher also laid out a rough framework for areas of concentration during the abbreviated offseason. 

Here are 5 key quotes from his Exit Day media availability:

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POSTGAME 5: End of the Road

Flyers seasons ends with game 7 loss to the Islanders

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

The Philadelphia Flyers bid to come back successfully from a three games to one deficit in their Second Round seres deficit to the New York Islanders fell one win short. The Flyers lost, 4-0, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday Night.

Scott Mayfield gave New York an early 1-0 lead and fellow defenseman Andy Greene made it 2-0. Brock Nelson built a three-goal lead midway through the game, while Anthony Beauvillier further extended the lead in the third period. 

Thomas Greiss notched the shutout on just 16 shots. Carter Hart stopped 22 of 26 shots in the elimination game. 

Video: PHI Recap: Season ends in 4-0 loss to Isles in Game 7 

 

TURNING POINT

The Flyers had a quick start to the first period but things fell apart quickly after the first New York goal. Mayfield's goal seemed to take the air out of the Flyers' balloon and they never bounced back to any significant degree. 

 

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5 Things: Flyers vs. Islanders Game 7

This is the third Game 7 in Flyers-Islanders history, with the Flyers winning the previous two

by Philadelphia Flyers @NHLFlyers / philadelphiaflyers.com

#1 - Philadelphia Flyers (Playoffs: 10-5)
vs.
#6 - New York Islanders (Playoffs: 10-5)
ROUND 2 - GAME 7: Series tied, 3-3
TIME: 7:30 p.m. |  TV: NBC |  RADIO: 97.5 The Fanatic
at Scotiabank Arena | Toronto, Ontario
Presented by: BELFOR PROPERTY RESTORATION

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The Top 7 Flyers Game 7 Moments

Bill Meltzer recaps the best Game 7 wins in Flyers history

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

By their very nature, Game 7s are guaranteed to produce joyous or painful memories for years to come. The Flyers have had their share of both over the years.

When the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders take the ice on Saturday for the seventh and deciding game of their Second Round series, it will be the first time since 2014 that the Flyers have participated in a Game 7. Six years ago, Alain Vigneault's New York Rangers held off the Flyers, 2-1, in a first-round Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The Flyers' last Game 7 win was in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins.

Here are the top seven Flyers Game 7 moments over the years. They are listed in reverse chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest. They are not ranked by order of importance. 

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