Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced today that the Flyers will not extend an offer sheet to RFA Steven Stamkos. After a few exciting days and visions of Stamkos in orange and black, it’s all over.
This is a good non-move by the Flyers. As nice as it would be to add a guy like Steven Stamkos, it just wasn’t feasible for the Flyers for many reasons.
The most important reason would be money. Rumors surfaced yesterday that the Flyers were thinking of extending an offer-sheet of 10-12 years and over $100 million dollars. Even though it wouldn’t have been difficult to spread the cap hit of a deal like that to a manageable level, the deal most likely would have been front-loaded. Which means the Flyers wheeling and dealing would not have been over, more moves would have to of been made to clear room for Stamkos.
Since Stamkos is a restricted free agent, Tampa Bay would have 7 days to match any offer-sheet given to the forward. Stamkos can entertain offer-sheets starting tomorrow, which also happens to be the opening of NHL free agency. If the Flyers had given Stamkos an offer-sheet you can be sure Tampa Bay would use all 7 days to decide whether to match the offer or not. Given the Flyers current salary cap situation, waiting for a decision from the Lightning would have handcuffed any ideas of signing free agents. Also, imagine if the Lightning did match the offer on the 7th day? Then the Flyers would have been without Stamkos and the free agent pool would no doubt have been sufficiently depleted.
In the end, it all played out like most knew it would. It was fun to imagine something could be worked out, but it was never going to happen. Tampa Bay isn’t going to let go of their prized young super star, and the risk was just too high for the Flyers.
Now, the Flyers can focus on free agency, which opens at Noon EST tomorrow. Join us here at GetFlyerdUp.com for a live blog starting at 11:30 am. We’ll discuss who the Flyers could possibly be targeting when free agency opens, and you can follow along as we update signings the Flyers and the rest of the NHL make. Should be a fun day!