Can’t stop, won’t stop.
It has been a busy summer for Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher. But now that he has the foundation of his roster for the 2021-22 season under contract and ready to go, he is shifting his gaze toward the future.
On Thursday, he announced that the club has signed winger Joel Farabee to a six-year contract extension which will carry an average annual value of $5 million per season.
The contract will take effect at the beginning of the 2022-23 season. Drafted 14th overall in 2018, Farabee has one year remaining on his entry-level contract, with a cap hit of $925,000.
Stellar Sophomore Season
Now 21, Farabee took a huge step forward in 2020-21. Sporting a new number, 86, he led the Flyers with 20 goals. In a vote by his teammates, he won the 2020-21 Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as the Flyers’ most improved player.
Joel Farabee scores and wants to hear the noise! pic.twitter.com/9nSmAV9AX1
— Philly Hockey Now (@phillyhockeynow) March 8, 2021
“We consider Joel to be a key piece of our core moving forward and we’re very happy to have him signed to a long-term extension,” said Fletcher in a statement. “In a short amount of time, Joel has proven to be one of the brightest young talents in the NHL. His hockey IQ, skill set, and passion for the game have all contributed to his early success and we feel that there is tremendous upside to his game yet.
“He plays a 200-foot game and has earned the trust and respect of his coaches, management, and all of his teammates.”
All told, Farabee has amassed 59 points in 107 games. His 0.55 points per game rank him fifth among 2018 draftees with more than 10 NHL games played, and his 59 points ranked him sixth in his class.
All five players above him have been restricted free agents this summer. The top producer, Andrei Svechnikov (140 points in 205 games), signed an eight-year extension with the Carolina Hurricanes last week, with an AAV of $7.75 million. Last Saturday, Jesperi Kotkaniemi (62 points in 171 games), signed an offer sheet with the Hurricanes for one year at $6.1 million.
Though he still has one year left on his current contract, Farabee became eligible to sign an extension on July 28. On Thursday, he told the media that he was eager to commit long-term.
“Just to get this done before the season, I think I am really happy,” he said. “I think I came off a pretty good year last year and definitely wanted to get things rolling.”
Watching Fletcher’s other business this summer — whether that was extending Sean Couturier and Travis Sanheim or bolstering the club with new additions like Keith Yandle, Ryan Ellis , and Rasmus Ristolainen — Farabee likes what he’s seeing.
“I think it just really shows the core we’re going to have going forward and I think it’s a really good core,” he said. “I’m really excited to see what the team is going to be like this year. On paper, we look really good. At the end of the day, we’ve got to perform and we’ve got to have a much better year than we did last year.”
Couturier’s eight-year extension, signed last week, takes him to the end of the 2029-30 season. Farabee is now locked up until 2027-28 — one year longer than Ellis, two years longer than Kevin Hayes and Scott Laughton and three years beyond Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov and Cam Atkinson. All three will all be unrestricted free agents after the 2024-25 season.
Giroux To Play Out Final Year
New arrivals Yandle and Ristolainen are both set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of 2021-22. So is Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who’s going into the last season of an eight-year extension with a cap hit of $8.275 million that he signed in 2013, at age 25.
“I’ve had good conversations with Claude and with Pat Brisson, his agent,” Fletcher told the media last week. “At this point, our plan is to play the season out and we’ll talk at the end of the season.
“We’re both comfortable with that. Claude’s our captain, he’s a great player, and I anticipate that we’ll find a way to continue that relationship going forward. But right now I think what we’ll do is we’ll just get through the season and we’ll look at the situation and see where he’s at, see where we’re at and we’ll do what’s best for everybody.”
Giroux slams home Voracek's pass with authority just after the power play expired. It's a one-goal game again. pic.twitter.com/yhFxZoqMzV
— Philly Hockey Now (@phillyhockeynow) March 10, 2021
Drafted 22nd overall in 2006, Giroux was named captain of the Flyers on January 19, 2013. Last season, he became the longest-tenured captain in franchise history. With 273 goals and 858 points in 943 games, all in a Philadelphia uniform, Giroux ranks third in points in his draft class, behind only Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals (980 points in 1,011 games) and Phil Kessel of the Arizona Coyotes (904 points in 1,122 games).
Giroux also ranks second all-time in games played in a Flyers uniform and in assists, and third in total points. He could reach the 1,000-game plateau this season.