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October 11, 2020

Live NHL free agency recap, Day 3: Flyers don't feel the need to make a 'big splash'

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alex-pietrangelo_101120_usat Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

It's been two quiet days for the Flyers so far to start NHL free agency, but don't let a lack of rumors and the fact that the Eagles play today distract you from the fact that the signings will continue around the league.

On Saturday, not only did the Flyers remain silent on the free agent market, but general manager Chuck Fletcher took some time out of his day to explain why the team had yet to make a move — and certainly made it sound like there won't be any big moves coming.

Fletcher is adamant about not jeopardizing the Flyers' current and future makeup.

“Making a big splash doesn’t necessarily mean you make your team better," Fletcher said Saturday in a video interview. "There are a lot of things at play — from a flat cap for the next two to three years to an expansion draft to having to re-sign your own restricted free agents over the next few seasons. There’s a lot at play. Certainly we’re always looking to make our team better and if we can we will, but we have a very good team right now.

"We’ve spoken to several agents and let them know sort of the type of term or dollar amount that we would find acceptable. I think we felt pretty strongly there would be several players that would be able to get more than what we feel we need to pay at this point in time. I think things have kind of gone the way we expected. There have been some very good signings out there, there have been some other signings that I think are a little cringeworthy. We’ll continue to talk to teams and agents and let the process play out.”  [nbcsports.com]

Despite that, Fletcher said he's staying busy and has been on the phone with every team multiple times and will continue to talk his way though free agency. And if he wants to make a splash this weekend, he could perhaps do so by signing defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who apparently has some offers on his plate he's currently mulling over. Of course, given what Fletcher has been saying publicly and the team's current salary cap situation, that might be a stretch for the Flyers.

Fletcher also said he likes his current team, a team that surprised many by making the leap to a playoff contender perhaps a year earlier than some thought only to be knocked out in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Islanders. With limited cap space to work with, the Flyers GM said he's going to let the market play out and sit back and wait for the right time (and right player) to pounce. 

Basically, his current free agency mood can be described by the following quote:

"If we can find the right player at the right fit and the right price, we’ll do that," Fletcher said. "But we certainly don’t feel that we’re under any pressure to do anything just to do something. So if we can improve our team, we will.

"We’re just looking for the right player. If we can get him at the right price and if that player is an upgrade for our group, we’ll do it."

Will he find the "right player at the right fit and the right price" on Sunday? Stay tuned to our live tracker below for all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Flyers as NHL free agency heads into Day 3.


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