Flyers Restricted Free Agents Taylor Leier, Alex Lyon File for Salary Arbitration

Taylor Leier and Alex Lyon were two of 44 NHL players to file for salary arbitration Thursday night, per a release by the NHLPA.

Leier and Lyon are two of the Flyers' seven restricted free agents this offseason. The others are Robert Hagg, Anthony Stolarz, Danick Martel, Tyrell Goulbourne and Reece Willcox.

The deadline for player-elected arbitration was 5 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday. The deadline for club-elected arbitration is 5 p.m. Eastern Time Friday.

By electing for arbitration, both players and the Flyers are set for hearings with an independent arbitrator to settle on a salary. General manager Ron Hextall and the representation for Leier and Lyon can continue to negotiate and possibly strike a deal before a hearing is had. Arbitration hearings are held from July 20 to Aug. 4 in Toronto.

The last Flyer to elect for arbitration was Brayden Schenn in the summer of 2016. The two parties avoided it by agreeing to a four-year deal the morning of the hearing. The Flyers also avoided a hearing with Michael Del Zotto in 2015.

Leier, a 24-year-old winger, played in 21 of the Flyers' first 23 games last season and seemed to have found his niche on the fourth line while compiling the team's fifth-most minutes on the penalty kill. However, he played just 18 games the rest of the season and finished with one goal, four assists and a minus-7 rating. The last game he appeared in was March 4 as he lost his role and was a healthy scratch all playoffs.

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Last summer, Leier, a 2012 fourth-round pick, re-signed on a one-year deal and made $806,558 in 2017-18.

Lyon, a 25-year-old goalie, impressed when he was called upon by the Flyers for 11 games last season in which he went 4-2-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. He was excellent during the AHL playoffs, putting up a 1.98 goals-against average and .944 save percentage over 11 games for the Phantoms, including a remarkable 94-save performance in a five-overtime victory.

The Yale product was signed by the Flyers as a college free agent in April 2016. Last summer, he also signed a one-year deal while making $874,125 in 2017-18.

Lyon will fight for a roster spot in a busy crowd of goalies, featuring Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth, Carter Hart and Stolarz. Earlier this week, Hextall said by AHL rules the Flyers can keep three netminders with Lehigh Valley, where things may be overly crowded with Lyon, Hart and Stolarz.

Neuvirth, on the final year of his deal, and Stolarz could be trade candidates the rest of this summer.

"I'd rather have too many goalies than too few," Hextall said Monday. "If something makes sense and we can make something happen, we'd at least look at it. We saw it last year. All of a sudden, a couple goalies go down and you're scrambling for goalies. If we start with five, we start with five. Not a perfect situation, but again, I'd rather start with five than with three."

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