The Philadelphia Flyers have started the summer a little early. As Per CSNPhilly.com the Flyers on Tuesday acquired the rights to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from Phoenix for forward Matt Clackson, a third-round pick in 2012 and a conditional draft pick.
Bryzgalov went 36-20-10 for the Coyotes last season with a 2.48 goals against average a .921 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Bryzgalov could be the long answer for the Flyers’ goalie woes. He’s a Russian which could help compliment Bobrovsky who’s not too far from becoming a comfortable starter for the Orange and Black. The move no doubt proves that Brian Boucher has played his last game as a Flyer, even though the writing was already on the wall once the Flyers were swept out of the Playoffs by the 2011 Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins.
Now the question is, can they sign him?
The Flyers are handcuffed in the NHL Salary cap. In order to sign Bryzgalov who is reportedly looking for a 4 year 25mil deal, they’ll have to move one of the “core” players. Briere, Pronger, Richards, Timonen and Hartnell all have “No-Trade” clauses.
Scott Hartnell has been the topic on fans’ “Out of town lists” but lots of people over look Hartnell’s two way play. Hartnell, shined in the 2010 Playoffs as well as the first half of the 2010-2011 season. His play with Briere and Leino, dominated the scoring sheet until Janurary. After that, Hartnell had a hard time staying consistent especially on the Power Player. Remember it was Hartnell who was destined to replace Mike Knuble with the PP “garbage” goals. Hartnell seems to have a hard time finding that comfort zone in front of the net. However, Hartnell has some puck handling skill as well as a decent shot and is never shy to use his size. Hartnell normally wins all of his battles along the boards. Hartnell has scored 22 or more goals in 5 of his last 6 seasons and finished this season with 49 points. Hartnell would be hard to replace since there is no one in the Farm System with his power forward skill set. Trading him, (If he waives his “No-Trade”) still would leave a gap in scoring, since it’s almost certain Nikolay Zherdev will not be resigned. It also would not clear enough space to sign Bryzgalov. If Hartnell can still net 20 goals and stay on his feet he should be safe.
On the subject on “Out of Town” lists, fans have also called for Jeff Cater. Carter who led the Flyers in goals, will no doubt score goals for you, but lacks in two way and physical play. It’s very rare Carter will use his size to his advantage and seems to never look at his team mate on odd man rushes. He will 99.9 % shoot the puck. This is where a scoring chance just becomes a chance and not a goal. Carter leads the team in shots, because he shoots the puck anywhere from the ice. If the Flyers were to trade Carter it may clear just enough space to sign Bryzgalov. This would also be the prime time to move Carter since he’s been inquired by a few teams and also will have a “No-Trade” clause take effect in the 3rd year of his new 11 year deal.
Briere, led the team in the 2010 playoffs and finished 2nd in the 2010-2011 Regular and Post season in points. Briere will not be moved, per team sources as well as Chris Pronger.
Possible moves to make room could include: Carle (3.4mil), Walker (1.7mil), Versteeg (3mil) Leighton (1.5mil). It is likely Leighton will be waived following Training Camp, if the Flyers do not move him via trade. Ian Lapperriere may also spend his final season (possibly in his career) on LTIR, which would not count against the cap. The Flyers also need to figure out how they can re-sign Leino who’s looking for more than 3mil, Nodl, and Powe. If Lappy doesn’t play, the Flyers will need Powe for the PK. Nodl hasn’t impressed me and in my opinion can join Boucher in the search for work this summer.
With Jody Shelly’s contract, Carcillio most likely will not be resigned, unless he’s waived. Carcillio would come cheaper than Shelly, and can play all 4 lines. This is a plus incase of injury. Shelly has no skill and brings nothing to the table other than fighting.
It’s safe to say that Paul Holmgen has a very tough decision to make. He’s done a fine job so far. I know many fans are hoping he’s got more magic up his sleeve.