What does Zach Werenski's contract mean for Ivan Provorov, Flyers?

Jordan Hall

The Blue Jackets on Monday re-signed defenseman Zach Werenski to a three-year, $15 million contract.

The news is rather significant given there had been a lengthy waiting game for the first domino to fall in the restricted free agent defensemen market.

Jacob Trouba, one of the biggest RFA blueliners, signed a seven-year, $56 million deal with the Rangers in July. His situation was expedited by a looming arbitration hearing, while Werenski, the Bruins' Charlie McAvoy and the Flyers' Ivan Provorov were not arbitration eligible.

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So what does the Werenski deal mean for Provorov?

If anything, it gives the Flyers and Provorov's agent Mark Gandler a potential framework in negotiations. Maybe it speeds things up a bit provided that both sides can look at Werenski's contract as a barometer for a new deal.

Trouba's contract has an average annual value of $8 million, while Werenski has an AAV of $5 million and will be a restricted free agent again when the deal is over.

The Flyers and Provorov's camp can now try to work within the $5-$7 million range.

Werenski is 22 years old, was drafted eighth overall in 2015 and is coming off a 44-point season in which he played 22:54 minutes per game. Provorov is 22 years old, was drafted seventh overall in 2015 and is coming off a 26-point season in which he played 25:07 minutes per game. He has been utilized like a No. 1 defenseman and played like one in 2017-18, when he put up 17 goals, 41 points and a plus-17 mark.

As we wrote in late July, it would be surprising to see Provorov net $8 million. Even $7 million might be high. But $6 million certainly seems reasonable, say, over five years.

A big question is would Provorov and the Flyers be willing to go with a bridge deal?

Here's what TSN's Bob McKenzie had to say:

A bridge deal can be risky but with Werenski and the Blue Jackets going that route, Provorov and the Flyers can at least look at it as a benchmark.

Ultimately, that's what Werenski's contract means for the Provorov situation.

Now, let's see what gets done and how quickly.

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What does Zach Werenski's contract mean for Ivan Provorov, Flyers? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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