The Travis Konecny drama is over.
The Flyers on Monday agreed to terms on a six-year, $33 million ($5.5 million AAV) deal with Konecny.
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"We are happy to have Travis under contract for the next six seasons," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement released by the team. "Travis has shown progression in each of his three seasons and is an integral part of our group of young forwards. His speed, skill and tenacity sets him apart in today's NHL."
Konecny was a restricted free agent and missed the first three days of training camp. The Flyers open their preseason schedule Monday night and play four games in six days.
Fletcher wasn't kidding when he said negotiations can change quickly. At the start of camp Friday, a somewhat confounded Fletcher said the Flyers and Konecny's representation had "a ways to go" on finding a solution to a new deal, while head coach Alain Vigneault didn't hide his disappointment with the 22-year-old's absence from camp. He subtly reiterated that disappointment two days later.
But now all is well. It became clear that Konecny's camp wanted to go the route of a long-term deal rather than a bridge contract. The 2015 first-round pick put up back-to-back 24-goal seasons over the past two years and has seen his role fluctuate at times. Konecny has done most of his damage at even strength. Since 2017-18, he owns the same number of even strength goals (43) as Sidney Crosby and David Pastrnak, and has more than Artemi Panarin (42).
With greater responsibility, there's no reason Konecny can't turn into a 30-goal player.
"I'm really excited about signing with the Flyers and being able to call Philadelphia home for the next six years," Konecny said in the release. "I can't wait to get back with my teammates and to start a new relationship with the coaching staff. It's on me now to work hard and make up for the couple days I wasn't able to be here."
At a $5.5 million average annual value, it's an excellent deal for Konecny and a pretty good one for the Flyers, too. Konecny is only 22, entering his fourth NHL season and expected to make a bigger jump in production. If he performs, having him locked up through the 2024-25 season at a reasonable figure will be a major plus.
Think about it: Sean Couturier came into the league at 19 years old and didn't score more than 40 points until his seventh season when his role truly expanded.
Travis Konecny's contract has a $5.5 million AAV.
Sean Couturier's has a $4.333 million AAV for the next three seasons.
Just shows you how much of a bargain Couturier has become for the #Flyers.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) September 16, 2019
Now the question becomes how quickly can Konecny catch up? He missed three important practices of training camp under a new head coach and two new assistant coaches.
Competition is currently ripe among the Flyers' group of forwards. Joel Farabee has impressed (even playing alongside Couturier and Claude Giroux) and others like Morgan Frost, German Rubtsov, Chris Stewart, Andy Andreoff, Kurtis Gabriel, Isaac Ratcliffe, Mikhail Vorobyev and Nicolas Aube-Kubel are vying for spots, as well.
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick
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