Flyers to Buy Out Oskar Lindblom (UPDATED)
The Flyers have teams willing to take JVR, but at what cost? Another high pick? A prospect? Chuck has been reluctant to part with another big asset so far, but will he bite the bullet if it means Gaudreau signs here? That's the decision he's weighing this AM.
— Anthony SanFilippo (@AntSanPhilly) July 12, 2022
Due to the unique nature of his age and contract status, a Lindblom buyout would actually free up more cap space in 2022-23 than his cap hit — $3,333,333 in space would open up for the Flyers (Lindblom’s cap hit: $3 million). For a team that is currently slammed up against the $82.5 million cap ceiling with new contracts for restricted free agents like Morgan Frost, Owen Tippett and Zack MacEwen likely looming, the buyout route was always going to be an option.
Buying out Oskar Lindblom and making a corresponding move to free up cap space to bring Johnny Gaudreau home? Dunno about all of that.
We know the Flyers are going for an “aggressive retool” here, but does Gaudreau and Tony DeAngelo get you over the hump? Carter Hart, Risto, and Provy? You’ve still got the health questions surrounding Ryan Ellis, plus Coots and Kevin Hayes didn’t play full seasons last year, and Joel Farabee had the unexpected summer surgery. Throw in the Bobby Brink injury as well, and you just find yourself asking so many questions about what this team is going to look like and what the ceiling is if they do get back to full health.
You also have the optics of moving on from Oskar after his cancer battle. At some point, yes, you have to make business decisions and leave the sentimentality on the side, but it doesn’t make it easy for anybody, especially not the player and the fans who have supported him through that diagnosis and recovery.
Anthony weighing in here:
“The Flyers absolutely adore Lindblom. So, this decision isn’t being made lightly. And it’s only being made to try and create the cap space necessary to attract a top-end talent. (Cough, Johnny Gaudreau, Cough). It’s only step one in a multi-step process to bring in such a talented player. Lindblom never lived up to his pre-cancer hype, and ultimately was a responsible fourth liner who could move up the lineup for a few games in a pinch. Sadly, in the world of flat salary caps (which goes through this year), paying $3 million for that kind of player is too much. Lindblom will make his money in a buyout and will likely sign somewhere else on a “prove-it” contract, so he’ll be OK. But if the Flyers really want to pursue big name talents both now and in the future, moves like this are going to have to happen.”
To me, the 2022 Flyers feel a little bit like the pre-Process Sixers. You had some good pieces, like Jrue Holiday, Thad Young, etc, then you went out and made the move for Andrew Bynum (Ryan Ellis), and you found yourself just sort of sitting there in 8-9 seed purgatory anyway. That’s where you don’t wanna be. Either blow it up or go all out, but if the retooling just keeps you treading water, then what’s the point?
UPDATE 1 –
The Philadelphia Flyers have placed forward Oskar Lindblom on waivers for the purposes of a buyout of the final year of his contract, which has an average annual value (AAV) of $3M. https://t.co/KBNhJDZpJ2
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 12, 2022