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Flyers extend qualifying offers to Hart, Sanheim, other RFAs



Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers took care of some paperwork on Monday afternoon. Qualifying offers were due by 5 p.m. EDT and the Flyers announced them just before the clock struck five.

The Flyers extended qualifying offers to forwards Connor Bunnaman and David Kase, defenseman Travis Sanheim, and goalie Carter Hart. Forward Pascal Laberge did not receive a qualifying offer and will become a free agent.

Bunnaman is going to need to work his way into the Flyers’ fourth-line competition. The 23-year-old forward played 21 games with the Flyers in the 2019-20 season and 18 games last year. He’ll likely spend most of his time with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season.

David Kase will be playing with HC Sparta Prague in Czech Republic, but by extending him a QO the Flyers retain his NHL rights. The 24-year-old played in one game last season and six the year prior, scoring one goal. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 19 games with the Phantoms.

Then it gets interesting.

Sanheim and Hart aren’t likely to sign their qualifying offers. The Flyers had to extend them to maintain their exclusive rights as restricted free agents, but the two NHLers will be receiving actual contracts from Chuck Fletcher.

Sanheim, 25, signed a two-year deal with a $3.25 million cap hit in 2019. He’ll likely get a raise this summer, but it may not be too much after his up-and-down season. He is expected to skate on the second pair with newcomer Rasmus Ristolainen next season.

Hart, 22 (23 in August), is another young player looking to bounce back. He never really found his game in the 2021 season until the very end, and then he suffered an injury. The promising goalie looked anything but with a 9-11-5 record and .877 save percentage in 2021. Hart was on his entry-level contract until this offseason.

Pascal Laberge was the only Flyers RFA to not receive a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Laberge was drafted with the 36th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. He dealt with injuries, including a concussion, and hasn’t made much of an impact at the AHL level. Laberge had 20 points (15 goals, five assists) in 54 games across four seasons in Lehigh Valley.

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