Newly installed Flyers general manager Ron Hextall has pretty much gone into a bunker over at Skate Zone.
Hextall has turned down scores of interview requests and dived into his new job with the NHL draft coming up next month at the Wells Fargo Center, and more importantly, free agency and the retooling of the Flyers’ roster.
Hextall is saddled with a rather large task. Six players are due raises via new contracts. Four of those raises significantly alter the Flyers' salary cap for 2014-15, led by Claude Giroux’s bump from $3.75 million to $8.275 million.
Andrew MacDonald’s bump is almost as steep -- $550,000 to $5 million.
A number of Flyers fans asked on Twitter about Brayden Schenn’s status as a restricted free agent and how it will affect Scott Laughton’s chances on the roster.
@PaddyFann: How much does resigning B.Schenn affect Laughton chances on making team next year?
According to capgeek.com, the Flyers have approximately $6.55 million cap space going into next season (with a $71.1 million cap).
They already have at least one, and more likely, two rather pressing positions to be filled on defense, plus a decision to be made on whether they re-sign goalie Ray Emery. They need a veteran backup to Steve Mason, who is also among those receiving a salary bump.
Right now, the Flyers don’t have much room to maneuver this summer without trading players for lesser salary and that certainly impacts Laughton and any other prospect.
If Hextall could package both Luke ($3.6 million) and Brayden Schenn for one player –- a defenseman or left wing that complements Sean Couturier and Matt Read -- that would make a lot of sense, especially on the financial end.
Brayden Schenn is going to cost the Flyers far more in a new contract than the $870,000 cap hit posted this past season.
The qualifying offer (due June 25) to retain Schenn’s rights is $850,500. There’s no reason for the Flyers not to qualify him.
Former GM Paul Holmgren didn’t have any contract extension talks with Schenn’s agent, Don Meehan, this past season.
That was a tell-tale sign the Flyers were uncertain what to do with Schenn, who has played both center and wing here with mixed results, despite a career-high 20 goals this season.
Meehan texted CSNPhilly.com on Wednesday that he has yet to have a discussion on a new deal with Hextall.
Is Meehan concerned?
“No, not yet,” Meehan texted.
He probably should be.