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Read tries to block out trade rumors going into contract season

Sep 2, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT

mattreadgetty Getty Images

Matt Read is entering the final season of his three-year, $2.7 million contract and if he manages to have another solid campaign in 2013-14, then he should get a sizable raise. The bigger question is whether or not it will be with the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I would love to stay here,” Read told the Courier-Post. “Philadelphia’s obviously a great market to play hockey in. It’s a great bunch of guys here.”

Beyond that, he doesn’t want to think about his situation. He doesn’t find out about trade rumors unless his family informs him of them — which they do — and he’s happy to let his agent handle things when it comes to his contract status as he slowly inches closer to potentially becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Instead, he’s been working hard over the summer with the attitude that he doesn’t have a guaranteed spot with the Flyers — even though it would be shocking if he didn’t make the team.

The 27-year-old forward is a solid secondary scorer for the Flyers, but whether or not he’ll work into their long-term plans remains to be seen. Philadelphia already has roughly $53.6 million in salary committed to 15 players for 2014-15, according to Cap Geek, and that doesn’t include any goaltenders.

Read is projected to start the 2013-14 campaign on the Flyers’ third line, but he should also help kill penalties and get some playing time with the man advantage.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    I’ve had a hard time figuring just how much Read is worth. He had a great rookie year and then struggled at times last season (just like the entire Flyers roster). He’s not a 23yr old kid, he’s 27, so his ceiling probably isn’t much higher than we’ve seen- altho he’s a valuable two-way, 20-goal guy. I personally believe he’s better than Tyler Bozak but don’t believe he’s worth 4.2/annually. Wayne Simmonds starts his 6yr, 3.975/per deal (which is a huge bargain in the current marketplace), but I don’t think Read should even be paid that much. He’s an excellent 3rd line/2nd line tweener who can play wing and sometimes center. If I was the Flyers I’d try to give him 4yrs, 3.5/per ($14mil total).

    It’s going to be tough to resign him, so trading him for defense becomes a viable option. But I do think Holmgren finds a way. And with most projecting the Cap back up at 70mil next summer they should have enough room to fit their core.

    • dku5 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      He will be a UFA. Trades might work if he is already under contract or the trade is contingetn on him signing. I doubt the trade will be be a viable option.

    • withseidelinn - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      I really think if he starts the year off well and has some solid production they should trade him for a defenseman. They have enough up and coming talent that can replace his scoring (Couturier, Schenn, etc.). The biggest need for Philly right now is 1 or 2 solid top 4 guys to secure the back end, and I think even with a late pick thrown in Philly could get a great return for Read.

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Read has to put up goals because that’s about all he brings to the table. As PP77 mentioned, he is closer to 30 than 20 and there isn’t time for him to ‘reach his potential.’ I think it’s more likely he will be traded to help out the blueline especially if both Couturier and Schenn get to that next level of play.

  3. tcclark - Sep 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I don’t see the Flyers being able to keep him. At least not in this market. Guys are getting drastically overpaid and a team looking for scoring will put up more money than the Flyers can afford.

    Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the Flyers will be able to trade him at the deadline either. They will most likely be in playoff contention and therefore buyers at the deadline. I just don’t see rebuilding teams looking to unload a talented defenseman asking for a 27 year old winger on an expiring contract in return. Read is a guy that buyers would want, not sellers and when you’re in playoff contention you can’t trade a 20 goal scorer for prospects at the deadline.

    The other thing that hurts his tradability is his contract. With the Flyers cap situation they can’t take on much money in contracts and no one, and I mean no one, is willing to trade talented defenseman that only make around a million per year.

    He’s looking like one of those, sign-him-to-an-extension-and-then-trade-him-the-next-year type of situations the Flyers seem to find themselves in (ie. Lupul, Carter, JVR, etc.)

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      You make some very good points. They are sort of in no man’s land with Read. You don’t wanna remove a key piece from a potential playoff team but you also don’t want him to walk in free agency. But I do believe it’s possible to move Read at the deadline and simultaneously be buyers. After all San Jose shipped out Clowe and Murray and still contended. Flipping him for conditional picks is a possibility, but would be the seller route. It’s not likely but it is possible a rebuilding team would part with a defender to improve its offense with a relatively young forward like Read.

      Calgary is one such team. They are known to covet Read, as they went after him hard out of college. Now, Dennis Wideman is probably the defender they’d most want to part with. Positives? Right handed (which the Flyers desperately need) defender who puts up lots of points. Downside? He’s far too expensive (5.25), is signed for 4 more years, and is pretty one-dimensional. They’d probably be willing to eat a chunk for the next two years, but he’s not who I’d want. I’d go after Mark Giordano. Read, by himself, won’t get it done. However, he’s a guy they might be willing to part with if the return is solid. Since Read is a potential UFA the Flyers could include a conditional pick. Maybe a future 2nd that becomes a 1st if Read walks. Or maybe they could package something like Read, an unconditional 2nd, and Mark Alt or another midlevel D prospect. It’s not a perfect scenario but Read would be an important asset to a young Flames club while Giordano would be a top-2 guy here. Buffalo is another squad who has a wealth of defenders and not much up front.

      So it may be difficult to move Read for the proper return, but I do believe there will be a market for him if the Flyers can’t resign him.

      • tcclark - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:26 AM

        The problem is, Read out-values his contract. At just $900,000 and the Flyers being strapped to the cap, we wouldn’t be able to take on the extra salary that comes with a top tier defenseman. Clowe and Murray were different situations because they actually had a substantial cap hit. Read is actually too inexpensive to trade. The defensmen we could get in return would be young 3rd pairing guys or the Bruno Gervais’ of the world. Not only would Read over value those players, those players wouldn’t help this team anyway.

        Plus, why would Calgary trade a defenseman for Read when they’d probably get offers that contain younger players with higher potential? They could easily trade for prospects and then sign Read as a free agent in the offseason by simply outbidding what the Flyers can afford to pay him.

        The Flyers need to try and resign him to a hometown discount and if they can’t, just trade his rights before free agency starts to try and get anything for him.

    • dku5 - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      The cap is expected to go up next year.
      The Flyers will have cap room from expiring contarcts of Kimmo, B Schenn, Meszaros, Gervais, Gustafasson, Bourdon, and Hall.
      Read is an UFA next year, which means the trade value is minimal at best.

      The most important factor that you missed is the depth chart. The Flyers only have 3 right wings with Read. They will have to come up with a third and fourth line R wing if they let Read go. The Flyers probably keep Read, unless Akeson or even Straka seem to be ready to make a move up. (They will probably all see some time on a 4th line this year.

      The Flyers have depth in the middle, and that is where I see movement. B Schenn is yonger than Read, and I am not sure I want to see him go. Laughton looked like he has NHL potentinal, as does Nick Cousins. The red flag with those two are the signing of Lecavalier and Hall. Vinne is on a top level, but Hall’s (1 year) contract leads me to think Laughton and Cousins are not ready, but that might just be age.

      • tcclark - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        As the cap goes up so does the market, They will have to resign Schenn and Gustafsson. They will also need to replace Kimmo, Meszaros, and two goalies, all while leaving room for improvement. It’s not like they have a ton of cap room. Top pairing defenseman don’t come cheap nor do goalies. Those players alone will take up the majority of the cap space. They will need a discount to keep Read around.

      • dku5 - Sep 4, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        I skipped the goalie situation because I am not sure even Homer knows what direction they are gonna take with that position – keep one, keep both, find another, call up Stolarz or Heeter.

        Defense: Streit, Coburn, Schenn, & Grossman are under contract for $13.850. They free up $12.437 for 2 openings next year. I am pretty sure they will have some “left overs” even if they let Gus test the market and match his offer. (I would think they would be more apt to get the discount on gus before Read.) They can kick the Diference to the Offense.

        I understand you thoughts, but the Flyers are not going to have an impact in the post season with a third line that has no left wing, discounted Read on the right, and no wingers on the fourth line.

  4. valoisvipers - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    The Flyers better find a way to resign him because he is the type of player that Detroit and Boston covet and would love to sign especially as a UFA. His defense first sense of responsibility and his versatility make him a coach’s dream. He has good hands and sees the ice well. He is worth the money! Look at Clarkson contract with the Leafs, who would you rather have? Pay the Piper Paul!

  5. matthewmacisaac - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    He is a great team player, can play on any line, and won’t break the bank if they want to resign him. He reminds me of Propp or Poulin from years ago, guys that may not be superstars, but always seem to come up big and help the team win. Just get him signed.

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