How will Zach Werenski’s signing Monday affect restricted free agent Ivan Provorov?
Well, the Flyers hope it will speed up the negotiating process.
“We’re getting to a point where we need to see some progress if they’re going to be here Friday on the ice,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said on Tuesday, referring to Provorov and Travis Konecny, another restricted free agent.
The Flyers open their main training camp Friday.
Werenski, a defenseman like Provorov, signed a three-year bridge deal with Columbus, inking a $15 million contract that has an average annual cap hit of $5 million.
The players are believed to have similar value. Provorov, 22, coming off a subpar season, is regarded as a better defender than the 22-year-old Werenski, who is stronger offensively. Last season, Werenski had a minus-12 rating and collected 44 points — 18 more than Provorov, who was minus-16.
“Certainly, Werenski is a very good young defenseman and a very comparable player to Ivan, so it certainly sheds some light on where the market is,” Fletcher said.
Mark Gandler, Provorov’s agent, reportedly has been seeking $8 million per season. Maybe now, he’ll negotiate a bridge deal and hope for a bigger payday down the road.
New Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said last week he had separate phone conversations with Provorov and Konecny and told them that, with a new coaching staff and a new system being installed, it was important for them to be at camp when it opens Friday in Voorhees.
Vigneault also said he understood that the players have earned the right to do what’s best for them.
On Tuesday morning, Fletcher said he planned to talk to Provorov’s and Konecny’s agents later in the day. He was hopeful of having them signed before Friday.