The Flyers are paying Carter Hart for his potential.
They signed the goaltender to a three-year contract extension Monday that carries an annual cap hit of $3.97 million.
Hart, a restricted free agent who turns 23 Friday, struggled mightily last season, compiling a 3.67 goals-against average and an .877 save percentage. He had a contract with an average annual value of $863,333 last season.
“It definitely feels good to get the deal out of the way and I’m looking forward to a clean slate next year,” Hart said in a Zoom call with the media Monday afternoon.
The Flyers now have about $77.5 million committed to 22 players and must still sign Travis Sanheim. The salary-cap maximum is $81.5 million.
Hart said he was excited about the changes the Flyers had made to the defense this summer, and that he was eager to get started.
He has talked to several of the new additions.
“They seem like beauties,” he said.
Hart said his goalie coaches have targeted certain areas that need improvement, and though he didn’t want to go into specifics, it’s no secret that one of them had to be high shots to the glove side.
A healthy competition with recently signed Martin Jones, Hart said, will help both goalies. “We’ll push each other to be better,” he said.
Hart, who was very good in his first two seasons, and outstanding in the 2020 playoffs, twice mentioned how this season was a clean slate for him and his teammates, that the pandemic-affected 2021 season is in the past.
“I can’t wait for opening night, where it will be a sold-out stadium again,” he said.
The Flyers might go into the season with 22 players, depending on the size of Sanheim’s deal. He is scheduled to go to salary arbitration on Aug. 26.
Teams carry 22 or 23 players.