Flyers to buy out Oskar Lindblom, open up cap space ahead of free agency

lindblom buyout
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers have waived forward Oskar Lindblom with the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.

If Lindblom clears waivers on Wednesday he will become an unrestricted free agent.

“This was a very difficult decision to make and one that we spent a lot of time examining,” said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher. “No one can question the desire, will and strength to overcome all that Oskar has been through off the ice in order to return to the game he loves. Further, Oskar’s commitment to his teammates and impact in our room has been immeasurable. He is truly an inspiration to us all and he will always remain a special part of the Philadelphia Flyers family. We wish him all the best as he continues his NHL career.”

In conjunction with the news, the Flyers announced that their charity arm will make a $100,000 donation in Lindblom’s name to a local organization that aids families impacted by cancer. Lindblom, you’ll recall, missed most of the 2019-20 NHL season after being diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer After returning to the ice during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs he was voted the winner of the 2020-21 Masterton Trophy.

According to Cap Friendly, this move will free up $3.333 million in salary cap space and the Flyers will have a $333,333 cap charge for next season and a $666,667 credit on their 2023-24 books. Because Lindblom is under 26, only one-third of the remaining $4 million of his contract is being bought out.

[NHL free agency tracker 2022: Full list of offseason signings]

What’s next for Flyers?

The Lindblom buyout puts the Flyers $3,451,893 under the cap ceiling, per Cap Friendly. That’s before deciding on new deals for restricted free agents Morgan Frost (ineligible for an offer sheet), Zack MacEwen (who owns arbitration rights), and Owen Tippett.

If you’re of the mind that Fletcher is preparing to try and get South Jersey’s Johnny Gaudreau to play for his hometown team, there’s still lots of work to be done. You just know that Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving is fine with opening the bank to keep the 40-goal scorer and will certainly do so to keep him.

One option to help Fletcher is to move James van Riemsdyk, who is entering the final year of his contract. His deal carries a $7 million cap hit and pays out $4 million in actual salary during the season. But in order to find a taker, the Flyers will have to sweeten the pot, but at what cost? JvR has averaged 27 goals per season since returning to Philadelphia in 2018, but if you’re all-in on landing Gaudreau and you give up something like a first-round pick, you better be holding a press conference announcing a big-name signing soon, Johnny Hockey or someone else.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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