Ivan Provorov‘s play turned downward last season in such a way that it created some doubt in Philadelphia circles as far as his overall upside and ceiling.
As a result, the Flyers signed the defender to a six-year, $6.75 million AAV pact. The contract kicks in for 2019-20 which does not burn much of free agency. Let’s take a deeper look
What Ivan Provorov means to the Philadelphia Flyers
Provorov’s ice time rose to over 25 minutes a night as the defenseman finally saw time in all phases. He seemed to be overstretched too often and the result was 15 fewer points, a downward +/-, and a bevy of lapses not seen normally.
The defenseman dropped to 26 points in 2018-19. Expectations indicate a bounce back in 2019-20 as Provorov is poised to play 25+ minutes again for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Now, the contract is signed and sealed. The first question asked has to be, will Philadelphia pair Provorov with Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere, or someone else? It will be intriguing to see what direction Philadelphia winds up going in for the 2019-20 season. We should find out during training camp sometime.
The soon to be 23-year-old gains a chance to be the top defensive and occasionally offensive option for Philadelphia.
Here is a PuckPedia snapshot on Ivan Provorov.
-7G 26p in 82GP
-45% 5v5 GF
-48.5% Expected GF
-Scored 0.8 P/60
Rep’d by Gandler/Diamondhttps://t.co/uw9MMhAcTW
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) September 13, 2019
Next, there is the numerology.
The numerology of Ivan Provorov
Unfortunately, Provorov regressed when seeing more and more defensive deployments over the last two seasons. Last year, he started in the defensive zone 56.5% of the time as opposed to 52.2% in his rookie year.
The defenseman dropped to a -2% relative last year and that second half were more like a -4% relative which had to concern quite a few people (yet Flyers brass seemed okay).
Also, experts point to that his expected goals for that were 0.5% down from the team average relative. Also, his points per 60 are solid right hovered around 0.8 for most of the year.
Here is a standardized RAPM chart from Evolving Hockey.
Even tougher minutes greet Provorov in 2019-20 but maybe last season was a learning experience and will teach the defenseman to be a little smarter in his own zone while being productive in the offensive zone. Both phases never seemed to be in sync with each other.
Provorov became an abyss on the man advantage and then offensively. That was troubling, to say the least.
This signing looked like a nice one to some and a gamble to others. It boils down to can Provorov turn his defensive game around or will be continually get hemmed in his own zone and worse?
The details of the Ivan Provorov deal
The Provorov re-signing gives the defenseman a six-year contract and goes into two years of unrestricted free agency. That is good news. Is the $6.75 million AAV a bit expensive? It might be.
There may be an NMC or NTC involved. We will look into this over the weekend and provide updates as needed.
Some final words on Ivan Provorov
Provorov must prove that he is worth the salary and stop making the mistakes that haunted him throughout last season. Also, he must hit the net more with his shot. Too many errant shots resulted in the offense going the other way.
The start of training camp spurs on a few more signings. Ivan Provorov expected to earn a bit more money but in the end, the market dictated otherwise. Now, can he live up to the marketplace?