The Philadelphia Flyers are keeping their options open to improve the blue line, as they should be. They have been linked to a few of the bigger-name targets so far, but a secondary addition to bolster the second pair might be in the cards as well. Perhaps that guy could be Adam Larsson.
Larsson is a pending free agent after five seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. The 28-year-old defenseman had a $4.166 million cap hit on his last six-year contract.
Larsson is coming off of one of his best years with the Oilers, so Edmonton may be inclined to keep him. On Wednesday evening, Mark Spector reported on the Larsson negotiations.
“Oilers in ongoing talks with agent JP Barry over Adam Larsson contract,” Spector tweeted. “Will speak ‘a few times’ this week, per source. Flyers one of several teams watching negotiations closely.”
Flyers looking at Adam Larsson
Larsson isn’t a name that’s top of mind this offseason, but he might not be a bad addition for the Flyers. He has averaged over 20 minutes a game for his career, which took a slight dip to 19:50 in the 2019-20 season and 19:39 this past season.
Larsson is a defenseman’s defenseman. He hasn’t had more than 20 points in a season since the 2014-15 campaign with the Devils. Over his five years in Edmonton, Larsson had 1026 hits and 638 blocks in 329 games. He also had 268 giveaways and just 107 takeaways, though.
The troubling thing about the Flyers’ potentially targeting Larsson is that he can’t be their main addition. He’d be a solid pickup for the second pair. They can’t miss out on a big name and get Larson instead. That’d be a huge whiff by Chuck Fletcher and something I don’t think he’d do after last offseason.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Larsson ends up re-signing in Edmonton, as Darren Dreger said on TSN. But the Flyers’ interest in him is, well, interesting. It could mean that they are looking to add multiple defensemen this offseason.
Larsson is expected to fetch a contract for around $3.5-4 million for three or four years. The Flyers could fit that in along with another top-tier defenseman Pairing someone like Dougie Hamilton, Seth Jones, or Ryan Ellis with Ivan Provorov and a guy like Larsson with Travis Sanheim would give the Flyers a strong top-four.
Keep an eye on these negotiations as July moves along.