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Flyers, Jordan Weal seem closer to a deal as deadlines loom

The Flyers want to re-sign the winger, a prospective unrestricted free agent who wants to stay in Philly.

The Flyers want to re-sign winger Jordan Weal. Weal, a prospective unrestricted free agent, wants to re-sign with the Flyers.

Both sides are working on getting a deal done, but the urgency is intensifying because a couple of deadlines are approaching - the free-agent period for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights (June 18-21), along with the NHL free-agent period (July 1).

There are indications the sides are getting closer.

J.P. Barry, Weal's agent, said Monday that he and Flyers general manager Ron Hextall are comfortable with the term, "but not there on salaries yet. . . . We're still negotiating."

Weal, 25, acquired with a third-round pick in the 2016 deal that sent Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier to Los Angeles, starred in the AHL and impressed the Flyers brass after being recalled from the Phantoms last season. He scored eight goals in his last 19 games and had a knack for corralling loose pucks around the net and finishing his scoring chances.

And, yes, the offensive-challenged Flyers need finishers.

Last week, Hextall said he had "no idea" if progress was being made in talks with Barry.

But with the length of the contract agreed upon, the sides seem to be getting closer.

At the end of the season, Weal said he wanted to remain with the Flyers and felt they believed in him.

How strong is that belief? That will be determined by the dollars offered.

If Weal is signed before June 18, the Flyers would undoubtedly put him on their 11-player (seven forwards, three defensemen, goalie) protected list and Vegas would not be able to select him in the June 21 expansion draft.

If he is not signed, Vegas could negotiate with him during a 72-hour window in which it can try to lure free agents, starting Sunday at 10 a.m..

The NHL had initially granted the Golden Knights 48 hours to negotiate with free agents, but that was changed recently after their general manager, George McPhee, asked the league for extra time.

McPhee said the extension would make the process "much more manageable" for him and his staff.

Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Valterri Filppula, and Sean Couturier are expected to be six of the seven forwards the Flyers will protect. The seventh forward figures to be Weal if he is signed. If he isn't signed, Michael Raffl, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Dale Weise, Scott Laughton, and Nick Cousins will get consideration.

First- and second-year professionals, such as winger Travis Konecny, do not need to be protected and are exempt from the expansion draft.

The Flyers could have a verbal agreement with Weal on a signing but not announce it until after the expansion draft. That would enable them to protect another forward.

If Weal is not signed by the Flyers or the Golden Knights, he would be an unrestricted free agent July 1 and could negotiate with the other NHL teams.