The team announced that they have signed winger Matt Read to a four-year, $14.5 million contract extension. He will carry a $3.625 million cap hit which is reasonable for a player of Read's productivity.
As a rookie in 2011-12, he had a breakout performance as he led all rookies with 24 goals and also added 21 assists. Obviously his numbers dropped in 2013 with the lockout-shortened season but he still managed 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 42 games. Some believe he returned too soon from torn muscles in his ribcage.
Read could be one of the most valuable Flyers thanks to his versatility. He can, and has, played anywhere from the top line as a scoring winger to the third line where he has a more defensive role. He can play on the power play and also kill penalties. Players like this don’t come around often.
Carrying a cap hit of $900,000 the last two seasons and for the 2013-14 season, Read has been exactly what the Flyers, who are strapped for cap space, have needed. Last season he was moved all over the place stepping up where needed thanks to a bevy of injuries on all of the Flyers lines and never complained about his contract situation.
It must be tough for Read to maintain focus on his play due to constantly changing lines and the fact he is mentioned in nearly every trade rumor because teams want to have a guy like him on their team. Read should get an opportunity this season to stick on one line and contribute at a high level at both ends of the ice without having to worry about his contract.
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