For years we’ve been calling for the Flyers to get a stud goalie. News broke yesterday that we finally have that chance, when they traded with Phoenix for the negotiationing rights to Ilya Bryzgalov.
The hard part now is getting him to sign a contract with us. He’s worth a lot of money, he wants a lot of money, and the Flyers are willing to pay. The problem is a little thing called the salary cap. We can see it in the distance, but we still have other roster spots to fill as well. Leino is unsigned, and we definitely don’t want to let him walk. So where can we cut corners? Well, there’s a few guys that we can stand to lose without really losing anything.
Carcillo, Nodl and O’Donnell are the easy targets. Those 3 combined for about $3M last year. The first two give us nothing, and can be replaced by anyone. As for O’Donnell, it’s simply about the numbers. I’d keep him if he takes a large pay cut to make things work. If not, he was a 6th defenseman, well past his prime, and can be replaced with some youth. Besides, Bryzgalov will cover up for a lot more mistakes than anyone else we’ve had around here for the last 20 years. Do you realize that the last time we sent a netminder to the All-Star Game was 1986 (Pelle Lindbergh)?
According to this post on Hockey Buzz, we’ve got a 50/50 shot of making a deal with Bryzy. I would hate to see him walk and hit the free agent market. Aside from getting a top tier goalie, like him, there’s not much tinkering you can do to improve this team. To change the landscape, it’s more than adding pieces or role players. It would take a major shakeup. That’s something I’m not willing to do right now. We know that with the right attitude, this team is good enough to win a Cup. Breaking that apart isn’t the solution right now.
Signing Bryzgalov for a few seasons, is definitely the solution. And If somehow Bobrovsky challenges him for the top spot, then that just benefits us.
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