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July 26, 2016

Flyers sign Brandon Manning to two-year deal with expansion draft implications

Flyers NHL

As it turns out, the Flyers didn’t make it to arbitration with any of their players. And heading into the 2016-17 season, it appears as if the Orange and Black will have $1,038,334 in cap space (per General Fanager).

The Flyers and 26-year-old defenseman Brandon Manning have agreed to a two-year deal, first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Before we get to Manning, the Flyers’ offseason is now effectively over as far as re-signing players. There is still a possibility that a trade or buyout is made to clear more cap space.

By signing Manning, Ron Hextall has reached the 23-man NHL roster limit (14 F, 7 D, 2 G), and the Flyers are up close to the salary cap. Ivan Provorov and his $894,166 can be called up the big club out of training camp without making any trades, but then the Flyers have very little wiggle room.

As has also been discussed today (BSH’s Charlie O’Connor had some solid insight on Twitter), signing Manning allows the Flyers to prepare for next season’s expansion draft. In that draft, each team has to expose a defenseman under contract that either:

•    Plays 40 or more games next season

•    Plays 70 combined games between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons

Mark Streit
, Michael Del Zotto, and Nick Schultz are unrestricted free agents next season, which means they’re ineligible. Andrew MacDonald only played in 28 games last season, which means he would have to play in 40 this season to be eligible, something the Flyers likely don’t want to have happen.

That leaves Radko Gudas and Shayne Gostisbehere, two players the Flyers want to keep. By inking a two-year deal, Manning is now eligible to be the defenseman exposed to the possibility of playing in Las Vegas in 2017-18. He played in 56 games in 2016-17.

But for now, Manning is happy to be in Philly:

With the potential addition of Provorov, there is a chance that Manning could be the team’s 7th defenseman if no other moves are made. Considering that he proved capable when his number was called last year, expect to see Manning for at least 14 games this upcoming season.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann