On the eve of free agency, Habs GM Marc Bergevin took care of one small order of business, re-signing Brian Flynn to a two year, one-way deal with a reported cap hit of $950,000. The contract also buys out one year of UFA eligibility.
Flynn joined the Canadiens at the trade deadline last season after being acquired from the Sabres for Montreal’s fifth round pick in 2016. He suited up in nine regular season games for the Habs, going pointless while averaging just over nine minutes of action. He made more of an impact in the postseason though, collecting a goal and two assists (all in the playoff opener against Ottawa) in a total of six contests.
2014-15 was Flynn’s second full NHL campaign and he set new career highs in assists (12) and points (17), all with the Sabres. He has 17 goals and 24 helpers in 168 total regular season games played.
While some may be a bit surprised that the 26 year old received a one-way deal, it’s important to note that his qualifying offer was one-way and had Flynn gone through the arbitration process, he would have been guaranteed a one-way pact. So the thought of him signing for a two-way pact wasn’t realistic.
If Flynn struggles though, the Habs would be able to bury him in the minors with no effect on the salary cap. Teams receive savings of $375,000 plus the league minimum of cap exemption on players ‘buried’ in the minors. As the league minimum is now $575,000, the cap exempt portion of a buried contract is $950,000, or exactly what Flynn’s contract is.
Montreal now has four remaining restricted free agents to sign, forward Michael Bournival, Alex Galchenyuk, and Christian Thomas, as well as defenceman Jarred Tinordi. They now sit roughly $6.6 million under the cap.