VOORHEES, N.J. – When a player is allowed to approach unrestricted free agency, it generally means he won’t be back.
Which is why players such as Valtteri Filppula, Matt Read, Brandon Manning, Johnny Oduya and Petr Mrazek probably won’t be seen in a Flyers uniform again.
Manning seemed to come into his own this year and, at a salary of less than a million dollars ($975,000), would be a bargain at something close to that price.
But the Flyers are stocked with young defensemen – Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg just completed their rookie seasons and Samuel Morin and Phil Myers are waiting in the wings.
“I guess it’ll be up to Ron and his staff,’’ Manning said Wednesday on Flyers’ breakup day at the Skate Zone. “Maybe have that conversation today and get an idea. For me I think I’ve established myself as an NHL player, grown as a player and as a person.
“If I’ve played my last game in Philly, that’s the way it goes, but at the same time I’d love to come back and continue to help this team grow and get better.’’
Mrazek knows the Flyers already have two established goaltenders in Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth already under contract.
He was brought in near the trade deadline mainly because both goalies were injured.
“It’s always a different situation when your contract is up, and you’re on a team that has two goalies for next year,’’ said Mrazek, who finished with a 6-6-3 regular-season record and 3.22 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
“Those two guys are the two guys that started the year last year and too bad they got hurt for them. For me, personally, I had a chance to show myself and show the other teams that when I got a chance to play, I proved myself that I can play as many games as I can.’’
Read knows his time in Philadelphia is most likely over. He played most of the season with the Phantoms and if he does return to the NHL, it will be for far less than the $3.3 million he was making the past couple years.
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