There were other offers. Some may even have been for more money. Then Jordan Weal thought about how he ended last season — on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds, a point-per-game player in his last seven contests. He consulted family, friends and agents J.P. Barry and Mark Mackay. In a rare situation to be an unrestricted free agent at the age of 25, Weal signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract to stay a Flyer. “At the end of the day Philly was the one we chose because it was the best situation,” Weal said, in town early for veterans appear on-ice in training camp Sept. 15. “There’s trust from the whole organization and stuff like that and the comfortability is just something you can’t duplicate other places. I’m very grateful that we got something done and the Flyers and Ron Hextall and Dave (Hakstol) continue to give me an opportunity to play at this level.” That last part was the kicker. This year, Weal has an NHL spot that’s his to lose. Last year he was on the wrong side of a numbers game and started the season in the American Hockey League. The season before that he was traded from Los Angeles and had only played 10 career NHL games. With the Flyers amid a playoff push, they didn’t know they could put a rookie with no career NHL points in cold and have it help their cause. That’s changed now after Weal put up eight goals and 12 points in 23 games last season. “You have to look at the whole body of work,” Hextall, the team’s general manager, said last week. “When you look at Jordan’s work in the American League, then you look at the work he did in the National Hockey League last year — and again, it’s a small window — you put that together with the American League stuff in the playoffs where he played at a high, high level. Your evaluation comes from the NHL, but also prior. We’re comfortable that Jordan can be a skill part of our team, a player that we can count on.” In 2015, Weal was the MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs. His 10 goals and 22 points in 19 postseason games helped the Manchester Monarchs to a championship. But there’s a difference between the AHL and the NHL and, until last year, Weal didn’t have the opportunity to prove he could make that jump.
Why Jordan Weal turned down other offers and stayed with Flyers
Courier-Post | Sep 6