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Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
According to the team's website, the Phantoms have signed veteran goalie Brian Boucher to a contract. No terms were released.

“Brian is a good goalie who will add depth to the organization and solidify our goaltending situation,” said GM Paul Holmgren in making the announcement. Boucher is a decent insurance policy should Antero Niittymaki or Martin Biron falter or get injured this season.

Boucher burst on the scene with a magnificent playoff run in 2000 for the Flyers, but got buried behind Roman Cechmanek by former coach Bill Barber. He was traded to Phoenix where he had highs-including setting the NHL shutout streak record-and lows. Last year he played solidly for Chicago and Columbus.

Edit: After a quick Check of stats and some video clips. I stand corrected on Boucher. He really had some poor games last year to go along with the four or five very good ones I saw.

The Flyers also signed last year's first round pick, winger Claude Giroux, to an entry level contract.

Giroux is seen as a future top line winger by the Flyers, and they're excited to get him in the system.
Filed Under:   Flyers   Claude Giroux   Jsaq   Boucher   Phantoms  
July 23, 2007 7:08 PM ET | Delete
I was just wondering, before I read your article, why the flyers didnt offer up something for Toivenen (The blues traded an AHL player for him) as a back up plan. Not to say I dont like Booooch but Toivenen is younger and has a bigger upside IMHO. Giroux will get some good minutes in the AHL and Im excited to follow his progress. Thanks for the update Jsaquella. I wonder if Boucher is happy about playing in the AHL. So he has a two way contract? Do you see this as a little suspicious for Nitty's future in Philly?
July 23, 2007 7:26 PM ET | Delete
Good piece of info. Nice pickup for insurance. I still remember the save he made on Elias in the 2000 conference finals. While sprawling on his back with his head pointed at the shooter, he blindly threw out his left arm and stopped a sure empty net goal. I hope he gives Nitty a good push this pre-season.
July 23, 2007 7:29 PM ET | Delete
I think Boucher is just there to be an insurance policy in case Niittymaki is as dreadful as he was last year. Unfortunately the article on the site was thin on details, but my guess is they wanted a steady guy that was a sure thing if Niittymaki falters again, not necessarily to push him. Toivenen is not as proven, which is why he wasn't pursued, and the still like Martin Houle and Jakub Kovar for the future, not to mention Niittymaki if last year was simply growing pains.
July 23, 2007 7:47 PM ET | Delete
When I say "push", I mean make it as uncomfortable as he can so Nitty won't merely go through the motions knowing he's the unquestionable #2 guy. Perhaps give him a little more incentive to correct that lazy glove hand of his.
July 23, 2007 7:51 PM ET | Delete
Tell him that if it doesn't improve a crazy guy from Cape May will drive up and saw it off his arm. That'll incentivate him. No, I see what you mean, though.
July 23, 2007 8:52 PM ET | Delete
um are you sure it is insurance at the Flyers level? None of the phantoms netminders inspire any confidence. I think 1 or 2 will be leaving town.
July 23, 2007 10:08 PM ET | Delete
I really question this move. I keep asking why???!!!It just dosen't make sense to me to place Boucher on an AHL roster when he could of gotten an NHL contract (not a great on) elsewhere. Also, could this be a sign that Nitty's surgery was not as successful as anticipated? May he need more time to rest? The way I see it is he won't be move unless packaged with other players that we are trying to dump. Kind of similar to the Pitkanen situation where we couldn't move Sanderson alone. Who knows but in the end welcome back boosh.
July 23, 2007 11:57 PM ET | Delete
Lady, good point. I edited the blog Boucher is decent insurance, despite me not being sold on Niittymaki.
July 24, 2007 12:37 AM ET | Delete
He didn't fair to well in Chicago last year, but I still think he has some ability. Should do good for the Phantoms, or as a backup if either Nitty or Biron get injured. Good blog!
July 24, 2007 8:05 AM ET | Delete
JS - Great post and I could not agree more that Boosh is an insurance policy with little to no down side and a huge potential upside if Niity were to go squirrelly on us in net. Boosh is a good company guy who will play very well for the phantoms and could contribute to the big club on a short-term basis.
July 24, 2007 8:39 AM ET | Delete
Yeah, i kind of let my distaste for Niitty cloud me a little when I made the original post. I got over-excited and actually though he may have a shot a job with the big club....
July 24, 2007 3:06 PM ET | Delete
Isn't Giroux heading back to his junior team this season? I thought he was too young for the AHL.
July 24, 2007 5:19 PM ET | Delete
Anyone who saw Boucher play last year will know that he was extremely inconsistent and rarely put two good games together back to back. Except for a great playoff run in 2000 and a few short streaks here and there, Boucher has never been a consistent solid goalie and I seriously doubt anyone was offering him a guanranteed NHL contract at this point. That being said, its a good pickup for Philly, who had pretty much nothing after Biron and Nitty and its not a bad place for Boucher, who at least gets to practice in a state of the art facility, play in one of the better venues in the AHL and return to an area where he began his career and is comfortable.
July 24, 2007 5:20 PM ET | Delete
A quick note on Giroux, just because Philly signed him, does not mean that he can't go back to Junior.
July 25, 2007 5:19 AM ET | Delete
Giroux will be in the QMJHL next year, unless he comes into camp scoring like Alexander Ovechkin. He's under the age limits for the AHL and is a LONG shot to make the NHL roster.
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