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NHL Network Blasts Asking Price from Flyers’ Travis Konecny

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No topic of discussion for the Philadelphia Flyers’ upcoming offseason is more contentious than the contract situation of All-Star forward Travis Konecny, who will be able to sign a contract extension with the Flyers as of July 1.

Konecny, 27, is in the final year of the six-year, $33 million ($5.5 million AAV) contract he signed with the Flyers on Sept. 16, 2019. And, though the $5.5 million AAV is now low for a player of his caliber, Konecny’s reported new asking price of $10 million is now being scoffed at by national media, too.

When the topic of Konecny and his $10 million asking price was brought up on NHL Network’s panel on NHL Tonight, analyst E.J. Hradek was the first to crack a joke, quipping, “Well, $10 million? He’ll enjoy some other cities.”

Yikes.

“That’s where I would be,” Hradek clarified.

And, in fairness to E.J., all good jokes contain some truth. Konecny is, without a doubt, the Flyers’ best player and best forward at this moment in time. But the $10 million asking price is ludicrous, and most would agree without offering much resistance.

For instance, only 17 players in the NHL have a cap hit of $10 million or greater, and 12 of them are forwards. Those players are, from greatest cap hit to least, Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Elias Pettersson, William Nylander, David Pastrnak, John Tavares, Mitchell Marner, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sasha Barkov, and Jack Eichel.

And then there’s Konecny, who’s yet to score 40 goals or 70 points in a single season with the Flyers. With all due respect, $10 million is just a bad look, and more and more people are starting to agree.

“For a year, two years,” opined analyst and longtime NHLer Dave Reid. “Like, you start stretching those numbers out with term… that’s the issue with going term with a high number for some players. A 10 seems a lot, but that’s negotiating part of it. Again, it’s not just ‘Yeah, we got three really good years left’, what of the three to eight? Where’s that going to take us? AAV doesn’t get lower.”

With his last point, in particular, Reid was spot-on. If Konecny and the Flyers were agree to the max term of eight years, the two-time NHL All-Star would be 36 years old at the end of the contract. Six of those eight years will take place in Konecny’s 30s, and that is, more than likely, not a good spot to be in if you’re the Flyers. And Hradek agrees.

“That’s my fear with a player like Konecny. I love watching that guy play, but he’s not the biggest guy. He punches above his weight,” Hradek explained. “That’s great, while you can. Those types of players, their shelf life is really limited because, inevitably, they get dinged up. They get beat up, and they’re just not the same player.

“I’d have a hard time going that kind of term with that kind of money for Konecny, as much as I love him as a player.”

And there you have it. The Flyers are, at least inadvertently, still the butt end of some jokes around the NHL.

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