The Philadelphia Flyers took care of a bit of business on Friday by signing restricted free agent Connor Bunnaman to a two-year deal. That left Travis Sanheim as the Flyers’ lone remaining restricted free agent. Well, the Flyers checked that box on Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers and Travis Sanheim settled at a two-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $4.675 million. Sanheim is coming off of a two-year bridge deal with a cap hit of $3.25 million, so it’s a bit of a pay raise for the defenseman.
Yr 1 $4M Salary
Yr 2 $5.35M Salary
This deal expires when Sanheim is first UFA eligible.
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Sanheim is one of the younger players that struggled at times last season. He and Philippe Myers didn’t quite form the same dynamic duo as they did during the latter stages of the 2019-20 season. Still, Sanheim has a great skill set as a two-way defenseman and has room to improve.
Sanheim’s time on ice has increased in each of the last three seasons. During his first full season, Sanheim averaged 19:34 per game with a career-high in goals (nine), assists (26), and points (35) in 82 games. Then two years ago, Sanheim averaged 20:09 per game with 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 69 games. Last season, Sanheim played nearly 22 minutes (21:53) per game, but only put up 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 55 games.
Heading into the 2021-22 season, Sanheim is expected to slot in on the Flyers’ second pair. The left-handed Sanheim will likely be paired with the newly-acquired Rasmus Ristolainen to round out the top four behind Ivan Provorov and Ryan Ellis.
The Flyers will technically be over the salary cap with Sanheim’s new contract. However, that should be cleared up before the season starts. There are a few players making around $1 million or less that will be the odd man (or men) out.
Sanheim is under contract and the Flyers are ready to roll for the 2021-22 season.
Photo: Heather Barry Images