Brought in to be a savior. So far, just a big expense. (Courtesy: Matt Slocum)

Does Bryzgalov's Fat Contract Guarantee Him Playing Time?

Ilya Bryzgalov came here stop pucks. He’s proven that he could do it before. And based on his past, the Flyers gave him a contract for $51M over 9 years. Thus far this season, we are less than impressed. But what options does the team really have?

If you’re paying him, keep playing him
You  want to put the best players out on the ice. Not the ones that have a great history, but the ones that are playing good right now. You want to go with the hot hand. Bryzgalov has not been very hot this season. Borovsky has been better, for the most part. Yet, how can you justify to the owner if you make Bob the starter? The team made some major offseason moves in order to bring Bryz on board. Does it make sense to give up on him less than half way into his first season here? Do you really want a $50M player riding the bench and playing mop up duty? How bad does that make the GM and the scouts look? There is still time to right things. The team is still near the top of the conference. Maybe things will come together in time for the playoffs.

Um…logic
 You  want to put the best players out on the ice. Not the ones that have a great history, but the ones that are playing good right now. You want to go with the hot hand. Bryzgalov has not been very hot this season. Borovsky has been better, for the most part. Yet, how can you justify to the owner if you make Bob the starter? Here’s how you justify it: Bryz is not living up to his hype. He is unexpectedly not playing nearly as well as what we had all hoped. He flat out sucks right now. Even if it’s not a long term change, maybe now is the time to let Bob string together a few starts.  Maybe you gave up on him too easily last season. What has Bryz done so far to make you think differently? He’s got 1 shutout this season, which is 1 more than we had all of last year, including the playoffs. Big freaking deal. He’s been shaky. He has inspired zero confidence in this team.  He’s been a wonderful quote…and that’s it.

While I personally couldn’t care less about contracts and appearances and people’s psyche’s, I know what the reality is.  Even if the Flyers completely agree with the logical perspective, they won’t do it.  They simply will not make Bob the #1 guy. I would fully support it, but it won’t happen. Maybe if this was the tail end of an expensive contract and we’d be counting down the days until it expires, then they would bench him. But not this early into the deal. The best we can hope for is that Bob gets a few starts to let Bryz get himself together. however, I don’t see that happening either.

It’s just unfortunate that the business side of things has to effect the team aspect of things so much.  Has Bryz really earned the honor of being in net for the Winter Classic. He’s a big name and a bigger personality.  But what matters most is putting on a show and getting a win. Does he give us the best chance of doing that? I’m not so sure. But there’s nothing we can really do about it, is there?

Thanks for reading!

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Tags: 2011-12 Nhl Season Contract Goalie Controversy Ilya Bryzgalov NHL Philadelphia Flyers

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