Head coach Peter Laviolette on the bench late in the third period against the New Jersey Devils in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center. The Devils defeated the Flyers 3-1, to win the series 4 games to one. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Why Acquiring Jonathan Bernier Would Set The Flyers Back 5 Years


Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) is the center of a flurry of trade rumors. He is a restricted free agent. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It seems each time the rumor mill starts spinning, the Flyers just have to get their fingers on the handle for some extra inertia.

This time, those fingers find a familiar niche, simultaneously torquing the lever for trade rumors while sending the goaltending carousel into a nauseating whirlwind that can only end up with someone barfing and getting it all over everyone else. In this case, that barfing will be from about half of the world’s Flyers fans.

This time, the maelstrom centers on Jonathan Bernier, the young, talented, unproven backup (he’s never played more than 25 games) for the impressive Los Angeles Kings. According to various sources, anyone from the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild, and Florida Panthers are interested in his services in varying degrees, so by the time whichever deal goes down, it seems there will be a team in every division vying for his services. Which is bad news.

The Flyers don’t need a goaltender. How could that even be up for debate? Blaming Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers’ woes is like blaming your left arm for giving you a heart attack. The brilliant acquisition of Steve Mason gives the team the best tandem it has ever had; there is no denying that both tenders have troubled pasts, but they also have a psychotic level of talent and will push each other for starts. Lest we forget (and Philly fans make a case for a collective conscious marked by selective amnesia), Bryzgalov put the team on his back to start the season, and when both backups got lit up he started the rest of the games until Mason arrived, either in front of a team that couldn’t score, a defense that turned pucks over constantly, or both at the same time.

Bryzgalov isn’t without fault, but everyone on the team struggled at one point last season, and scapegoating a goalie in Philadelphia, at this point, is embarrassingly short-sighted. Worse than that, pedantically acquiring a new one hasn’t fixed anything. Ask Sergei Bobrovsky, Michael Leighton, Brian Boucher, Ray Emery, Martin Biron, Antero Niittymaki, Robert Esche, Jeff Hackett, and Roman Cechmanek. All of them had promising starts, and none of them were the answer.

In contrast, look at any other team who is cozy with their starting goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur, Jonathan Quick, Tuukka Rask, Corey Crawford, and Ryan Miller were groomed from within their own organizations. It didn’t matter if their results didn’t equal a playoff berth instantly. They don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll get played again if they’re pulled after a bad game. Their organizations have confidence in them, and thus they have confidence, which is the one intangible for goaltending that you will not find in Philadelphia. No other player in the sport requires confidence like a goalie, and in this down if he shows up confident you can be sure that he’ll be ruined by the time he’s run out of town, and that’s not on the fans and the media alone. The GMs and coaches of this team have had a tendency to panic and replace a talented but faltering goalie with another talented goalie. They then ride the hot hand. What happens when the hot hand cools off? You switch back to the one who faltered? Get a new goalie and wait for him to befall the same fate? Does this thought train have a logical conclusion? Could this experiment be brought to bear in a realistic environment so we can study the results?

Oh, right, it was: the Flyers have been riding the hot hand since Ron Hextall, and it has led to zero championships since 1975.

What does this have to do with Bernier? For starters, he’s the most coveted goaltender on the market right now, which means if the Flyers want to get him, they’ll have to overpay with assets. Like they do with defensemen. Then they have to negotiate a contract, since he’s an RFA. With the Flyers’ history of overpaying to fix problems already in Bernier’s agent’s back pocket, he can milk the Flyers for all they’re worth, and his cap hit would rival Bryzgalov’s. But throwing money at a problem rarely fixes it in sports. Just ask Glen Sather.

In any case, they’ll then have to buy out Bryzgalov, who will find another team, play for a smaller cap hit, and become a success. Then, two things happen. First, the goaltender carousel spins again, and by buying out Bryzgalov, the Flyers set a standard that if you don’t deliver to their lofty expectations within two seasons, you can expect to be cut loose. Who wants to play in that atmosphere? The Flyers are great at attracting free agents (Roenick, Forsberg, Briere, Weber, etcetera), but that trend will reverse if they keep dumping players.

Second, Bernier becomes just the next guy. Could he be the missing piece for a Stanley Cup championship? Doubtful, if you look at the team’s track record; the excitement over his acquisition will disappear and be wiped from history when he has a few bad games, and whomever the backup is will seem to be a tantalizing, unrecognized hero. News flash: Boucher, Cechmanek, Esche, Niitymaki, Leighton, and Bobrovsky were all backups who became starters.

The log line here is that a new goalie is not the answer in Philadelphia. Hasn’t been for more than a decade. The one thing that hasn’t been tried is hanging on to a goaltender even through a rough patch; what a novel idea! Teams that retain the services of the same core of players have the benefit of familiarity. They learn each other’s tendencies and how to compensate for mistakes. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself why the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are both poised to get a healthy number of names repeated on the greatest trophy in professional sports. Or how the Red Wings always seem to make the playoffs. But don’t ask yourself if a new goalie is worth the risk.

Tags: Ilya Bryzgalov Jonathan Bernier Los Angeles Kings Philadelphia Flyers Trade Rumors

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  • SantaClaude28

    I think you are way off on your analysis of this potential acquisition. Let me begin with why the Flyers NEED to buyout Bryzgalov. 1). He is one of the biggest distractions in the league. He chirps to the media about anything and everything while his teammates read it all and take their mind off of hockey. 2). If you watch him at all when he plays you’ll notice a few things that are of very high concern. a. Inconsistency; b. lack of effort at times; c. poor positioning. All of these things have led to the worst numbers he’s put up as a pro (2012-13 season) and how overpaid he really is. 3). Philadelphia fans and members of the team are starting to turn their backs on him (right, wrong or indifferent). That is bad news for any goalie. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t care if he is in Philly of not, so keeping him is going to ruin team chemistry, keep an unneeded 5.66 million on the cap and torture Bryzgalov into staying in a place which he hates. Also, I’d like to note how cocky and entitled Bryzgalov is. In the recent World Championships, Bryz said he would only play for Russia if he was the number one goalie, a move that left out the Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky. This arguably killed the Russians’ chances of winning the World Championships. Not the attitude I want for anyone on my team… Now for the case of Bernier, I don’t know how good he will end up being, but he is a very solid prospect who deserves a chance to be a number one guy. You mentioned drafting a goaltender and bringing them up through the system in order to be successful. That’s exactly what is happening here except it wasn’t in our system. The Kings did a fantastic job making Bernier NHL starter material and now the 25-year-old has a chance to go do that. The difference between Bernier and all of our previous poor goaltending choices is that we’re not signing a vertern to an elongated contract. We would be getting a great prospect who is ready to start now. And if you think any team is going to pay him more than 3.5 million for over 3 years you’re not thinking correctly. He would be a good move as long as the Flyers don’t give away too much to get him. Bring him on. I’d love to have Mason and Bernier as my tandem than Bryzgalov and anyone else. Watch a game every now and then to see what is really going on with the Flyers.

    • https://www.facebook.com/LifeAfterNovel Bryan Way

      Thanks for commenting! There’s nothing better than a passionate fan who’s not afraid to voice his opinions at length. That’s how I got this job!

      ([Bryzgalov] is one of the biggest distractions in the league. He chirps to the media about anything and everything while his teammates read it all and take their mind off of hockey.)

      If comments by the goalie to the media are taking the Flyers’ minds off hockey, they need to quit start new careers. By extension, that presupposes that what is said about the Flyers in the media distracts them, in which case we need to stage a coup that deposes the entire media. I’m game if you are!

      (If you watch him at all when he plays you’ll notice a few things that are of very high concern. a. Inconsistency; b. lack of effort at times; c. poor positioning. All of these things have led to the worst numbers he’s put up as a pro (2012-13 season) and how overpaid he really is.)

      If you watch the Flyers team from this past season, you’ll notice some things of high concern: Inconsistency, lack of effort, and poor positioning. That’s why the team missed the playoffs for only the second time in 18 seasons. With the exception of Voracek and Giroux, EVERYONE was overpaid this season!

      (Philadelphia fans and members of the team are starting to turn their backs on him (right, wrong or indifferent). That is bad news for any goalie. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t care if he is in Philly of not, so keeping him is going to ruin team chemistry, keep an unneeded 5.66 million on the cap and torture Bryzgalov into staying in a place which he hates.)

      Philly fans turning their backs on a goaltender!? Say it ain’t so! I was under the impression that he was signed to a long term contract with a no-movement clause to indemnify the Flyers from that sort of knee-jerk reaction! Name one teammate turning their back on him. And who cares what the fans think? Most of them just watch replays on CSN in the month between football and baseball. If they think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.

      Also, where does it say he doesn’t care about staying in Philly? He said he didn’t care whether or not he got bought out because it was out of his control. The fact that he shuts that out and just concentrates on playing hockey is laudable. If a goaltender having a personality is grounds for dismissal, this team should start pulling the goalie at the start of each game and see how well the 6th man can play net.

      (Also, I’d like to note how cocky and entitled Bryzgalov is. In the recent World Championships, Bryz said he would only play for Russia if he was the number one goalie, a move that left out the Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky. This arguably killed the Russians’ chances of winning the World Championships. Not the attitude I want for anyone on my team…)

      That’s a great joke! For those of you who don’t understand his clever witticism, people love it half the time when goalies are cocky and demand playing time (Patrick Roy, anyone?!) and burn them for it when it suits them (Bryzgalov). Besides, the Russians could have said no those demands and didn’t. What does that say about Bryzgalov?

      (Now for the case of Bernier, I don’t know how good he will end up being, but he is a very solid prospect who deserves a chance to be a number one guy.)

      Niittymaki! Boucher! Cechmanek! Bobrovsky! Lest we forget, this team, and the fans (you know, those smart guys who hate Bryzgalov) turned their back on Bobrovsky and were fine with him being traded. Then, boom! Selective amnesia! How could those idiots trade that immensely talented Russian Vezina candidate? Get it? Because if we dump Bryzgalov he’ll sign with another team, return to Phoenix form, and the idiots in Philly will think up a clever dodge like “I guess he just hated Philadelphia!” when he signed here. Willingly.

      (You mentioned drafting a goaltender and bringing them up through the system in order to be successful. That’s exactly what is happening here except it wasn’t in our system.)

      Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox!

      (The Kings did a fantastic job making Bernier NHL starter material and now the 25-year-old has a chance to go do that.)

      May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.

      (The difference between Bernier and all of our previous poor goaltending choices is that we’re not signing a vertern to an elongated contract. We would be getting a great prospect who is ready to start now.)

      Niittymaki! Boucher! You get the point. Also, does that crystal ball project alternate timelines? I didn’t realize it was common knowledge that the Flyers were going to sign him to a short term contract, which presupposes that they’re going to trade for him. If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.

      (And if you think any team is going to pay him more than 3.5 million for over 3 years you’re not thinking correctly.)

      You realize you’re talking about the team that signed Chris Gratton to a 4 year contract with a $9 million signing bonus, right?

      (He would be a good move as long as the Flyers don’t give away too much to get him.)

      Well, yeah, sometimes this organization makes a brilliant move. But some times they trade a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft pick and a prospect for Adam Oates.

      (Bring him on. I’d love to have Mason and Bernier as my tandem than Bryzgalov and anyone else. Watch a game every now and then to see what is really going on with the Flyers.)

      Well, I hope from this counterargument you realize what you’re up against. You’ve been schooled, my friend, and relying on the puerile argumentative tactic of suggesting I ‘watch a game every now and then’ does nothing more than give you an opportunity to believe that rhetoric can be defeated by axioms. That said, I welcome another opportunity to engage you in debate.

      • Ryan

        Bryan Way – I honestly can’t believe that you consider this “schooling” Santa Claude.
        And you’re an absolute idiot for trying to defend your argument that the flyers(or anyone for that matter) would pay more than 3.5 for Bernier. Shows your immaturity and lack of actually hockey knowledge…. and you seriously compared that to the overpaying of Gratton?? Haha cmon man.
        Bottom line… like it or not…. Bryz doens’t work here in Philly regardless of who’s fault it was or wasn’t. Attitude, distractions, etc…. they have all been pointed out, but at the end of the day, it’s because there are only 3 goaltenders(Lundqvist, Quick and Rinne) in the league worht paying more than 4 mil/ year or you are getting hosed. You could throw maybe 3-5 more names on that list that are worth about 4…. but other than that, goalies are a dime a dozen. So why would we sit here and pretend like ANY goaltender other than those mentioned is worth what Bryz makes?
        Either way, its about bang for your buck…. I’d rather pay a goaltende with a .900 save percentage and 3+ GA 1.5 mil than 5.667…. But I wouldn’t expect a “casual” NHL fan/writer to really understand that concept.
        That being said… I tend to agree with you that a new goalie isn’t the answer, because I honestly dont’ respect goaltenders taking up valuable capspace. But, regardless, Bryz needs to leave no matter what to free up that space, and not just for this year, but more importantly for next season.

      • SantaClaude28

        Brian,

        (Thanks for commenting! There’s nothing better than a passionate fan who’s not afraid to voice his opinions at length. That’s how I got this job!)

        First, I’d like to say that I probably wouldn’t comment on anything else you ever write. You’re kind of a dick and I’m sure I can find better places to voice my opinion. That being said, let’s get started.

        (If comments by the goalie to the media are taking the Flyers’ minds off hockey, they need to quit start new careers. By extension, that presupposes that what is said about the Flyers in the media distracts them, in which case we need to stage a coup that deposes the entire media. I’m game if you are!)

        This statement is a clear representation of just how naïve you are to the media’s potential effect on professional athletes or celebrities. I can only imagine the enormous pressure that these individuals go through and having the public eye pick apart their every move compounds that pressure ten fold. Back to my original thought, distractions are a part of every sport and athletes train to counteract that. But, hardly any
        other situation is like Bryzgalov. He is clearly ignorant or doesn’t care what impact his actions have on those around him. Not only is his play mediocre, but also his mouth is all over the place, which often leaves his interviews higher on the newsfeed than the score of the game.

        (If you watch the Flyers team from this past season, you’ll notice some things of high concern: Inconsistency, lack of
        effort, and poor positioning. That’s why the team missed the playoffs for only the second time in 18 seasons. With the exception of Voracek and Giroux, EVERYONE was overpaid this season!)

        Where do you think the basis for a team’s confidence lies? Goaltending. When the Flyers were in games, competing hard, and Bryz would let up a softy team morale plummets. I’m not completely blaming Bryz for this (his defense was less than adequate), but his attitude on the ice clearly infected the rest of the team. He didn’t trust them and vice versa. That is not how good or even average teams operate. Once Mason was
        gaining starts near the end of the season, the entire team, including a young, inexperienced defense was playing very well in front of him. Like great golfers will say, you build your game from the green to the tee not the tee to the green. Similarly, in hockey you must build a team from the net out not from the forwards back. Blame this on Ed Snider or Paul Holmgren. Their inability to let their team develop and chasing a cup every year has set the Flyers back tremendously.

        (Philly fans turning their backs on a goaltender!? Say it ain’t so! I was under the impression that he was signed to a long term contract with a no-movement clause to indemnify the Flyers from that sort of knee-jerk reaction! Name one teammate turning their back on him. And who cares what the fans think? Most of them just watch replays on CSN in the month between football and baseball. If they think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.

        Also, where does it say he doesn’t care about staying in Philly? He said he didn’t care whether or not he got bought out because it was out of his control. The fact that he shuts that out and just concentrates on playing hockey is laudable. If a goaltender having a personality is grounds for dismissal, this team should start pulling the goalie at the start of each game and see how well the 6th man can play net.)

        First, hockey fans that matter aren’t the ones who only care about the game during the times when nothing else is going on. The ones that do are those who were searching the net for news on the lockout multiple times a day for over four months. The fans that came back after two lockouts because they had no choice but love this game. The fans that matter are those who throw their heart and soul into a team (and league, for
        that matter) that seldom cares for them. This comment is absolutely ridiculous and shows me that you are a stupid fan. I have played hockey for over 18 years. I am a true fan. Hockey is in my blood and that blood runs orange and black. Don’t knock the fans. They are the ones who run this league. If it weren’t for our support the NHL wouldn’t exist. That being said, I will agree that the mantra of Philadelphia is very, very impatient. That has been not only with goalies, but also with any talented player that hasn’t produced. This stems directly from Ed Snider and the rest of the “Flyers brass”, as you so
        eloquently put it. Snider thinks that his deep pockets can buy championships rather than building a team through the natural cycles of success that all franchises go through. The fact that we have only missed the playoffs twice in almost two decades is evidence of this. Trading away young talent too quickly in order to get the missing piece has made us a playoff team for twenty years, but hasn’t gotten us over the hump since the mid seventies. So when you think that taking Giroux at #22 overall was a brilliant move, you should realize that it was a no brainer pick. I could have made that pick. How about the organization’s “draft best available” philosophy? That’s brilliant work from management. Seven forwards in the past eight years with first round picks. Notable guys we could have had include Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Kris Letang and PK Subban. Good work from the top…

        Second, Bryz has made it clear through interviews that he is less than fond of Philadelphia. His comments about ghettos and people reaping the benefits of a loose welfare system have left him further out on the island he finds himself on. (http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/05/15/ilya-brayzgalov-doesnt-like-philadelphia-ghettos-wants-to-talk-to-stalin-and-genghis-khan/). And as for his teammates, look at their attitude towards him on and off the ice. No one would attach his name to such comments on the record, but speculation has been brewing for months and it has been substantiated with an anonymous Philadelphia player. “It’s OK, guys,” Bryzgalov said, according to a teammate, speaking on a condition of anonymity. “I will get bought out. I will get paid for this deal and I will get paid double to play for a new team somewhere else.” (http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20130623_Agent_sounds_desperate_in_making_his_case_for_Bryzgalov.html). Read for yourself and decide whether you really want Bryzgalov to impact the young, talented, impressionable athletes in that dressing room.

        (That’s a great joke! For those of you who don’t understand his clever witticism, people love it half the time when goalies are cocky and demand playing time (Patrick Roy, anyone?!) and burn them for it when it suits them (Bryzgalov). Besides, the Russians could have said no those demands and didn’t. What does that say about Bryzgalov?)

        There’s a difference between the cocky entitlement of mostly every Russian hockey player (Zherdev, Radulov, Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Nabokov, ect.) and the confidence of great
        Canadian players. Roy ran his mouth and backed it with Stanley Cups and setting NHL records. Bryz runs his mouth and it will likely run him all the way back to Russia. And as far as the Russian World team allowing Bryz to take that spot away from a more talented goaltender? That shows me that they are ignorant to choosing talent over respect. Let the veteran play over a kid who is better ended up costing them the tournament. I’d be shocked if Bryz is selected to the
        Olympic team in 2014.

        (Niittymaki! Boucher! Cechmanek! Bobrovsky! Lest we forget, this team, and the fans (you know, those smart guys who hate Bryzgalov) turned their back on Bobrovsky and were fine with him being traded. Then, boom! Selective amnesia! How could those idiots trade that immensely talented Russian Vezina candidate? Get it? Because if we dump Bryzgalov he’ll sign with another team, return to Phoenix form, and the idiots in Philly will think up a clever dodge like “I guess he just hated Philadelphia!” when he signed here. Willingly.)

        This is comical. Antero and Roman never had more success outside of Philadelphia. Boosh had some success in Phoenix, but it didn’t last long. And the only reason we got rid of Bobs is because the upper management that you praised signed Bryzgalov to a ridiculous contract. We had no choice to trade him and get something for him. If we didn’t trade Bobs, he would have bolted for another team when his contract was up. No duh he [Bryzgalov] signed with us willingly. It was his best offer and contracts in the NHL are guaranteed (hence DiPiertro, Gomez, ect.). So the mistake was signing Bryz to 9 years instead of testing what he was worth.

        (Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox! May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.)

        This is exactly why I won’t read or comment on anything you put on the Internet again. You’re as chauvinistic as they come. What makes your opinions so much better than mine? Instead of attacking what people comment with your superior assumptions, you should try and have intelligent conversations. Thanking me for commenting and then being an ass is like saying, “with all due respect” and then saying
        whatever you damn well please. You understand that bashing me for using my insight to try and foresee future events is exactly what you were doing by writing an article titled, “Why Acquiring Jonathan Bernier Would Set The Flyers Back 5 Years”, right? May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my week to finally see one in person.

        (Niittymaki! Boucher! You get the point. Also, does that crystal ball project alternate timelines? I didn’t realize it was common knowledge that the Flyers were going to sign him to a short term contract, which presupposes that they’re going to trade for him. If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.)

        Again, being an ass is not the best way to increase how many people read your articles. Cechmanek, 30 when he played in Philly (played well, but wasn’t a franchise guy), Hackett, 35
        and average at best, Esche, 24 (one decent year and then no more), Biron, 30 (played well for two seasons, but again not a franchise guy), Emery got hurt and Leighton was a fluke that ran on adrenaline, a great team and knowing it was his only shot to do anything to get to the Stanley Cup. All of this seems irrelevant now that Bernier is a Leaf, but he is still predicted by many to be a star in this league. And not just by ignorant fans. And that is obviously what you think I am.

        (You realize you’re talking about the team that signed Chris Gratton to a 4 year contract with a $9 million signing bonus, right?Well, yeah, sometimes this organization makes a brilliant move. But some times they trade a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft pick and a prospect for Adam Oates.)

        This is a perfect definition of a paradox if I cite your earlier argument, “If they [fans] think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass [Ed Sinder and company that runs the franchise] doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.” You have contradicted yourself by saying that the Flyers have good tactics when deciding what will make the team successful. Gratton and Oats were disastrous choices, just like Bryzgalov.

        (You’ve been schooled, my friend, and relying on the puerile argumentative tactic of suggesting I ‘watch a game every now and then’ does nothing more than give you an opportunity to believe that rhetoric can be defeated by axioms.)

        Don’t get ahead of yourself. Your argument hardly presents things that are generally presumed to be true. It is what YOU assume to be true, which without affirmation by other credible sources means just about nothing. I have never once attempted to pass off my opinions as anything other than what they are. I understand that what I think has a probability of being wrong. That’s why I commented on your article. I did so in hopes that my thoughts would be respected. You have used much more rhetoric than I have, (‘That’s a great joke!’ ‘Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox!’ ‘May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.’ ‘If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.’), in order to make me feel inferior to your seemingly immense hockey knowledge and to intimidate me into allowing you to beat me with arguments that sound more like a Michael Moore film than a well-rounded, well-supported argument.
        You, sir, are an ass, a hypocrite and above all an arrogant, presumptuous little know-it-all who throws his opinions around as facts like a spoiled child. You will not win the hearts and minds of Philadelphia Flyers fans (if that’s who you’re targeting, which would be a tough sell considering how much
        you bashed us) with how you have treated me on this comment board.

        ……… and boom goes the dynamite.

        • https://www.facebook.com/LifeAfterNovel Bryan Way

          (First, I’d like to say that I probably wouldn’t comment on anything else you ever write. You’re kind of a dick and I’m sure I can find better places to voice my opinion. That being said, let’s get started.)

          Well, I hope you continue voicing your opinion here. I love getting a healthy debate going!

          (This statement is a clear representation of just how naïve you are to the media’s potential effect on professional athletes or celebrities. I can only imagine the enormous pressure that these individuals go through and having the public eye pick apart their every move compounds that pressure ten fold. Back to my original thought, distractions are a part of every sport and athletes train to counteract that. But, hardly any other situation is like Bryzgalov. He is clearly ignorant or doesn’t care what impact his actions have on those around him. Not only is his play mediocre, but also his mouth is all over the place, which often leaves his interviews higher on the newsfeed than the score of the game.)

          Well, I’m certainly not going to pull one of those ‘he’s just misunderstood’ on you. I think his personality is great for the sport and for the Flyers. The flip side, of course, is that he is often turned into a spectacle in the media, but I truly believe that this having an effect on his teammates is a dodge.

          (Where do you think the basis for a team’s confidence lies? Goaltending. When the Flyers were in games, competing hard, and Bryz would let up a softy team morale plummets. I’m not completely blaming Bryz for this (his defense was less than adequate), but his attitude on the ice clearly infected the rest of the team. He didn’t trust them and vice versa. That is not how good or even average teams operate. Once Mason was gaining starts near the end of the season, the entire team, including a young, inexperienced defense was playing very well in front of him. Like great golfers will say, you build your game from the green to the tee not the tee to the green. Similarly, in hockey you must build a team from the net out not from the forwards back. Blame this on Ed Snider or Paul Holmgren. Their inability to let their team develop and chasing a cup every year has set the Flyers back tremendously.)

          This is one area that I feel would be labeled ‘selective prosecution’ in a court of law, because it seems no matter who you ask, there’s a difference of opinion on what happened. I saw Bryz in Vezina-caliber form in the first part of the season while the rest of the team seemingly hung their heads on every shift. Once Laviolette realized he couldn’t rely on the backups, Bryz was out there every game, and he wore down. Mason, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly lights out, and he did have the benefit of not factoring into the other team’s gameplan. Plus, our rookie defense had already started to play well in front of Bryz, allowing him to post a four-game win streak in the stretch drive.

          I absolutely blame the team’s problems on management, and I agree that this poisonous ‘win now strategy’ is why the team continues to struggle.

          (First, hockey fans that matter aren’t the ones who only care about the game during the times when nothing else is going on. The ones that do are those who were searching the net for news on the lockout multiple times a day for over four months. The fans that came back after two lockouts because they had no choice but love this game. The fans that matter are those who throw their heart and soul into a team (and league, for that matter) that seldom cares for them. This comment is absolutely ridiculous and shows me that you are a stupid fan. I have played hockey for over 18 years. I am a true fan. Hockey is in my blood and that blood runs orange and black. Don’t knock the fans. They are the ones who run this league. If it weren’t for our support the NHL wouldn’t exist. That being said, I will agree that the mantra of Philadelphia is very, very impatient. That has been not only with goalies, but also with any talented player that hasn’t produced. This stems directly from Ed Snider and the rest of the “Flyers brass”, as you so eloquently put it. Snider thinks that his deep pockets can buy championships rather than building a team through the natural cycles of success that all franchises go through. The fact that we have only missed the playoffs twice in almost two decades is evidence of this. Trading away young talent too quickly in order to get the missing piece has made us a playoff team for twenty years, but hasn’t gotten us over the hump since the mid seventies. So when you think that taking Giroux at #22 overall was a brilliant move, you should realize that it was a no brainer pick. I could have made that pick. How about the organization’s “draft best available” philosophy? That’s brilliant work from management. Seven forwards in the past eight years with first round picks. Notable guys we could have had include Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Kris Letang and PK Subban. Good work from the top…)

          Just know that I don’t include you in that group of fans (more on this later). I once sat at a bar next to a guy who told me he went to the game where Ron Hextall scored two goals and the Flyers-Senators set the record for penalty minutes. Ouch.

          (Second, Bryz has made it clear through interviews that he is less than fond of Philadelphia. His comments about ghettos and people reaping the benefits of a loose welfare system have left him further out on the island he finds himself on. (http://philadelphia.cbslocal.c…. And as for his teammates, look at their attitude towards him on and off the ice. No one would attach his name to such comments on the record, but speculation has been brewing for months and it has been substantiated with an anonymous Philadelphia player. “It’s OK, guys,”Bryzgalov said, according to a teammate, speaking on a condition of anonymity. “I will get bought out. I will get paid for this deal and I will get paid double to play for a new team somewhere else.”(http://www.philly.com/philly/s…. Read for yourself and decide whether you really want Bryzgalov to impact the young, talented, impressionable athletes in that locker room.)

          If he actually told a Russian reported he didn’t like Philadelphia, that’s just stupid. I worry, though, that the translations of this report were done by Google. Nevertheless, it was a dumb thing to do. Apology worthy, not necessarily fire-worthy.

          I must admit, I haven’t kept up with stories about Bryzgalov in the offseason (particularly where ‘anonymous’ sources are cited) mostly because I don’t enjoy watching the media repeatedly crucify him. It is, at this point, stale, old, and predictable. I did, however, love it when he gave the media a piece of his mind. Oh how they cowered, scurrying back to their publications to begin firing off more snide, unanswered missives!

          (There’s a difference between the cocky entitlement of mostly every Russian hockey player (Zherdev, Radulov, Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Nabokov, ect.) and the confidence of great Canadian players. Roy ran his mouth and backed it with Stanley Cups and setting NHL records. Bryz runs his mouth and it will likely run him all the way back to Russia. And as far as the Russian World team allowing Bryz to take that spot away from a more talented goaltender? That shows me that they are ignorant to choosing talent over respect. Let the veteran play over a kid who is better ended up costing them the tournament. I’d be shocked if Bryz is selected to the Olympic team in 2014.)

          I don’t think I’m comfortable generalizing about a race of people like that. I mean, lest we forget, Jagr was born in an Eastern Bloc country, did his fair share of bragging, and backed it up.

          It’s possible that Bryzgalov cost them the IIHF title, but it’s also possible he didn’t. Naturally media outlets point to the fact that he was pulled after allowing 4 goals in the last game, but the Russians lost 8-3. Now, I can’t speak to this with authority as I wasn’t glued to my TV watching the Russian IIHF team, but reports blaming Bryzgalov are bound to be exacerbated because he’s already such a headline name.

          (This is comical. Antero and Roman never had more success outside of Philadelphia. Boosh had some success in Phoenix, but it didn’t last long. And the only reason we got rid of Bobs is because the upper management that you praised signed Bryzgalov to a ridiculous contract. We had no choice to trade him and get something for him. If we didn’t trade Bobs, he would have bolted for another team when his contract was up. No duh he [Bryzgalov] signed with us willingly. It was his best offer and contracts in the NHL are guaranteed (hence DiPiertro, Gomez, ect.). So the mistake was signing Bryz to 9 years instead of testing what he was worth.)

          Well, I brought up their names because they, too, were untested prospects who the organization thought were worthy of a starting position. I felt we should have kept Bobrovsky. Too much of an upside, and he couldn’t have bolted since he’s an RFA. If buying out Bryzgalov becomes a reality, I’d rather have Bob than anyone else.

          (This is exactly why I won’t read or comment on anything you put on the Internet again. You’re as chauvinistic as they come. What makes your opinions so much better than mine? Instead of attacking what people comment with your superior assumptions, you should try and have intelligent conversations. Thanking me for commenting and then being an ass is like saying, “with all due respect” and then saying whatever you damn well please. You understand that bashing me for using my insight to try and foresee future events is exactly what you were doing by writing an article titled, “Why Acquiring Jonathan Bernier Would Set The Flyers Back 5 Years”, right? May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my week to finally see one in person.)

          (Again, being an ass is not the best way to increase how many people read your articles. Cechmanek, 30 when he played in Philly (played well, but wasn’t a franchise guy), Hackett, 35 and average at best, Esche, 24 (one decent year and then no more), Biron, 30 (played well for two seasons, but again not a franchise guy), Emery got hurt and Leighton was a fluke that ran on adrenaline, a great team and knowing it was his only shot to do anything to get to the Stanley Cup. All of this seems irrelevant now that Bernier is a Leaf, but he is still predicted by many to be a star in this league. And not just by ignorant fans. And that is obviously what you think I am.)

          You’re right. Those were dick things to say. I’m sorry.

          What I’m pointing to with these goaltenders is that, for a time, each was thought to be ‘the answer’ in his own paradigm, and now we have the beauty of hindsight to recognize how failed the thinking surrounding their elevation was. I understand my own fallibility (that’s why I apologized) as I do the fallibility of hockey pundits and scouts. For every Alexandre Diagle and Bryan Fogarty there is a Luc Robitaille and Pavel Datsyuk. I don’t think projecting a hockey player’s value is a fruitless enterprise, but I do see the folly in touting them for stardom. There are exceptions, of course, like Sidney Crosby, but I believe that projection destroyed his personality.

          (This is a perfect definition of a paradox if I cite your earlier argument, “If they [fans] think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass [Ed Sinder and company that runs the franchise] doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.” You have contradicted yourself by saying that the Flyers have good tactics when deciding what will make the team successful. Gratton and Oats were disastrous choices, just like Bryzgalov.)

          Boom goes the dynamite, indeed!

          (Don’t get ahead of yourself. Your argument hardly presents things that are generally presumed to be true. It is what YOU assume to be true, which without affirmation by other credible sources means just about nothing. I have never once attempted to pass off my opinions as anything other than what they are. I understand that what I think has a probability of being wrong. That’s why I commented on your article. I did so in hopes that my thoughts would be respected. You have used much more rhetoric than I have, (‘That’s a great joke!’ ‘Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox!’ ‘May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.’ ‘Also, does that crystal ball project alternate timelines?’ ‘If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.’), in order to make me feel inferior to your seemingly immense hockey knowledge and to intimidate me into allowing you to beat me with arguments that sound more like a Michael Moore film than a well-rounded, well-supported argument. You, sir, are an ass, a hypocrite and above all an arrogant, presumptuous little know-it-all who throws his opinions around as facts like a spoiled child. You will not win the hearts and minds of Philadelphia Flyers fans (if that’s who you’re targeting, which would be a tough sell considering how much you bashed us) with how you have treated me on this comment board.)

          I was actually hoping you’d come back. If you’d stayed away, I’d have no one to play with!

          I could offer probably a half-dozen reasons to explain my behavior, but I find in situations like these that such things come across as excuses, which are often a boring attempt to allay blame, so I’ll limit myself to one. My opinions, as you no doubt have guessed, are not often in the majority, and thus I often endure vicious, offensive attacks directed at my lack of intelligence, education, qualifications, practical experience, and of course the ever-popular sexual digs. Mistaking you, or anyone, for that sort without provocation is presumptuous, and calling me an ass is less than I deserve. As I said, I’m sorry, and it won’t happen again.

          That said, I hope we can continue!

  • Ryan

    Bryan – Don’t accuse SantaClaude of making outrageous predictions (as you alluded to by stating “show me your crystal ball”)

    You’re entire article is you using your crystal ball to predict that Bernier isn’t going to be worth the investment and that he will set the flyers back 5 years…. That’s an even more powerful crystal ball than SantaClaude’s.

    And just some future advice… considering you are the one who posted this article. Maybe don’t try and show up the readers of your crap, you’re lucky to have anyone reading this because we are crazed hockey fans who cant get enough… but it makes you look pathetic when you respond to the ONE person who actually commented on your article in such sophomoric fashion.

    Next time maybe try the adult way of having a conversation that IS expected out of you, not the readers. Something like ” I respectfully disagree with your counter arguments because….”.
    Haha but its even worse when you sound like an idiot in your response

    • SantaClaude28

      Ryan – You’re the man. I responded in a lengthy rebuttal to his comments about my opinions. It’s long, but worth reading. And P.S. I misspelled his name just to piss him off, not because I’m an idiot. Hope you enjoy.

    • https://www.facebook.com/LifeAfterNovel Bryan Way

      Hope you don’t mind, I’m going to lump this comment in with the one below for the sake of clarity!

      (Don’t accuse SantaClaude of making outrageous predictions (as you alluded to by stating “show me your crystal ball”)

      You’re entire article is you using your crystal ball to predict that Bernier isn’t going to be worth the investment and that he will set the flyers back 5 years…. That’s an even more powerful crystal ball than SantaClaude’s.

      And just some future advice… considering you are the one who posted this article. Maybe don’t try and show up the readers of your crap, you’re lucky to have anyone reading this because we are crazed hockey fans who cant get enough… but it makes you look pathetic when you respond to the ONE person who actually commented on your article in such sophomoric fashion.

      Next time maybe try the adult way of having a conversation that IS expected out of you, not the readers. Something like ” I respectfully disagree with your counter arguments because….”.
      Haha but its even worse when you sound like an idiot in your response)

      I have responded to SantaClaude and apologized for my antics. I will, however, continue to respond to any and all comments I receive on any article. The expression of opinions (even stupid ones) is a necessity in this environment. Voltaire said it best: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

      (I honestly can’t believe that you consider this “schooling” Santa Claude.
      And you’re an absolute idiot for trying to defend your argument that the flyers(or anyone for that matter) would pay more than 3.5 for Bernier. Shows your immaturity and lack of actually hockey knowledge…. and you seriously compared that to the overpaying of Gratton?? Haha cmon man.)

      Well, look at what organization you’re talking about. The Flyers have gotten themselves into cap trouble with the Bryzgalov deal, but they’ve done the same with Coburn (4.5 hit) and Hartnell (4.75), neither of whom played up to their contracts and we have them for a long time. Especially Hartnell!

      (Bottom line… like it or not…. Bryz doens’t work here in Philly regardless of who’s fault it was or wasn’t. Attitude, distractions, etc…. they have all been pointed out, but at the end of the day, it’s because there are only 3 goaltenders(Lundqvist, Quick and Rinne) in the league worht paying more than 4 mil/ year or you are getting hosed. You could throw maybe 3-5 more names on that list that are worth about 4…. but other than that, goalies are a dime a dozen. So why would we sit here and pretend like ANY goaltender other than those mentioned is worth what Bryz makes?)

      It’s unfortunate that contracts in the NHL are arranged to disproportionately reward people for past achievements. Remember when LeClair got a 5 year, $45 mil deal and never came close to repeating, even as a 30 goal scorer?

      I also rigorously disagree that goalies are a dime a dozen. The rotating cadre of career backups we’ve painted as starters in the last decade were a dime a dozen. Bonafide starters, not so much. Toronto may not have given up much for Bernier, but for a guy’s rights, I still think it’s too much.

      (Either way, its about bang for your buck…. I’d rather pay a goaltende with a .900 save percentage and 3+ GA 1.5 mil than 5.667…. But I wouldn’t expect a “casual” NHL fan/writer to really understand that concept.
      That being said… I tend to agree with you that a new goalie isn’t the answer, because I honestly dont’ respect goaltenders taking up valuable capspace. But, regardless, Bryz needs to leave no matter what to free up that space, and not just for this year, but more importantly for next season.)

      I wouldn’t have paid Kimmo Timonen $6 mil for one season. That’s Lidstrom money. But you can’t always get what you want.

      Believe me, I’ve considered the possibility that Bryz is not, in fact, the man. But I don’t think Phoenix was a fluke. It’s been a rocky adjustment period riddled with the aftermath of years of poisonous philosophies applied to this team.

      I think the whole situation just sucks. We signed a player to a big contract, yes, but then the NHL institutes some mandatory belt-tightening to save the struggling franchises, and its only solution is handing out compliance buyouts to the successful teams. I would have preferred one-time restructured cap-hits; alter the cap hit based on the remaining salary post-lockout. Then we could have kept Danny in the fold, and Bryz would be down to 5.125. Not the best ever, certainly, but better.

  • Guest

    Brian,

    (Thanks for commenting! There’s nothing better than a passionate fan who’s not afraid to voice his opinions at length. That’s how I got this job!)

    First, I’d like to say that I probably wouldn’t comment on anything else you ever write. You’re kind of a dick and I’m sure I can find better places to voice my opinion. That being said, let’s get started.

    (If comments by the goalie to the media are taking the Flyers’ minds off hockey, they need to quit start new careers. By extension, that presupposes that what is said about the Flyers in the media distracts them, in which case we need to stage a coup that deposes the entire media. I’m game if you are!)

    This statement is a clear representation of just how naïve you are to the media’s potential effect on professional athletes or celebrities. I can only imagine the enormous pressure that these individuals go through and having the public eye pick apart their every move compounds that pressure ten fold. Back to my original thought, distractions are a part of every sport and athletes train to counteract that. But, hardly any other situation is like Bryzgalov. He is clearly ignorant or doesn’t care what impact his actions have on those around him. Not only is his play mediocre, but also his mouth is all over the place, which often leaves his interviews higher on the newsfeed than the score of the game.

    (If you watch the Flyers team from this past season, you’ll notice some things of high concern: Inconsistency, lack of effort, and poor positioning. That’s why the team missed the playoffs for only the second time in 18 seasons. With the exception of Voracek and Giroux, EVERYONE was overpaid this season!)

    Where do you think the basis for a team’s confidence lies? Goaltending. When the Flyers were in games, competing hard, and Bryz would let up a softy team morale plummets. I’m not completely blaming Bryz for this (his defense was less than adequate), but his attitude on the ice clearly infected the rest of the team. He didn’t trust them and vice versa. That is not how good or even average teams operate. Once Mason was gaining starts near the end of the season, the entire team, including a young, inexperienced defense was playing very well in front of him. Like great golfers will say, you build your game from the green to the tee not the tee to the green. Similarly, in hockey you must build a team from the net out not from the forwards back. Blame this on Ed Snider or Paul Holmgren. Their inability to let their team develop and chasing a cup every year has set the Flyers back tremendously.

    (Philly fans turning their backs on a goaltender!? Say it ain’t so! I was under the impression that he was signed to a long term contract with a no-movement clause to indemnify the Flyers from that sort of knee-jerk reaction! Name one teammate turning their back on him. And who cares what the fans think? Most of them just watch replays on CSN in the month between football and baseball. If they think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.

    Also, where does it say he doesn’t care about staying in Philly? He said he didn’t care whether or not he got bought out because it was out of his control. The fact that he shuts that out and just concentrates on playing hockey is laudable. If a goaltender having a personality is grounds for dismissal, this team should start pulling the goalie at the start of each game and see how well the 6th man can play net.)

    First, hockey fans that matter aren’t the ones who only care about the game during the times when nothing else is going on. The ones that do are those who were searching the net for news on the lockout multiple times a day for over four months. The fans that came back after two lockouts because they had no choice but love this game. The fans that matter are those who throw their heart and soul into a team (and league, for that matter) that seldom cares for them. This comment is absolutely ridiculous and shows me that you are a stupid fan. I have played hockey for over 18 years. I am a true fan. Hockey is in my blood and that blood runs orange and black. Don’t knock the fans. They are the ones who run this league. If it weren’t for our support the NHL wouldn’t exist. That being said, I will agree that the mantra of Philadelphia is very, very impatient. That has been not only with goalies, but also with any talented player that hasn’t produced. This stems directly from Ed Snider and the rest of the “Flyers brass”, as you so eloquently put it. Snider thinks that his deep pockets can buy championships rather than building a team through the natural cycles of success that all franchises go through. The fact that we have only missed the playoffs twice in almost two decades is evidence of this. Trading away young talent too quickly in order to get the missing piece has made us a playoff team for twenty years, but hasn’t gotten us over the hump since the mid seventies. So when you think that taking Giroux at #22 overall was a brilliant move, you should realize that it was a no brainer pick. I could have made that pick. How about the organization’s “draft best available” philosophy? That’s brilliant work from management. Seven forwards in the past eight years with first round picks. Notable guys we could have had include Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Kris Letang and PK Subban. Good work from the top…

    Second, Bryz has made it clear through interviews that he is less than fond of Philadelphia. His comments about ghettos and people reaping the benefits of a loose welfare system have left him further out on the island he finds himself on. (http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/05/15/ilya-brayzgalov-doesnt-like-philadelphia-ghettos-wants-to-talk-to-stalin-and-genghis-khan/). And as for his teammates, look at their attitude towards him on and off the ice. No one would attach his name to such comments on the record, but speculation has been brewing for months and it has been substantiated with an anonymous Philadelphia player. “It’s OK, guys,”Bryzgalov said, according to a teammate, speaking on a condition of anonymity. “I will get bought out. I will get paid for this deal and I will get paid double to play for a new team somewhere else.”(http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20130623_Agent_sounds_desperate_in_making_his_case_for_Bryzgalov.html). Read for yourself and decide whether you really want Bryzgalov to impact the young, talented, impressionable athletes in that locker room.

    (That’s a great joke! For those of you who don’t understand his clever witticism, people love it half the time when goalies are cocky and demand playing time (Patrick Roy, anyone?!) and burn them for it when it suits them (Bryzgalov). Besides, the Russians could have said no those demands and didn’t. What does that say about Bryzgalov?)

    There’s a difference between the cocky entitlement of mostly every Russian hockey player (Zherdev, Radulov, Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Nabokov, ect.) and the confidence of great Canadian players. Roy ran his mouth and backed it with Stanley Cups and setting NHL records. Bryz runs his mouth and it will likely run him all the way back to Russia. And as far as the Russian World team allowing Bryz to take that spot away from a more talented goaltender? That shows me that they are ignorant to choosing talent over respect. Let the veteran play over a kid who is better ended up costing them the tournament. I’d be shocked if Bryz is selected to the Olympic team in 2014.

    (Niittymaki! Boucher! Cechmanek! Bobrovsky! Lest we forget, this team, and the fans (you know, those smart guys who hate Bryzgalov) turned their back on Bobrovsky and were fine with him being traded. Then, boom! Selective amnesia! How could those idiots trade that immensely talented Russian Vezina candidate? Get it? Because if we dump Bryzgalov he’ll sign with another team, return to Phoenix form, and the idiots in Philly will think up a clever dodge like “I guess he just hated Philadelphia!” when he signed here. Willingly.)

    This is comical. Antero and Roman never had more success outside of Philadelphia. Boosh had some success in Phoenix, but it didn’t last long. And the only reason we got rid of Bobs is because the upper management that you praised signed Bryzgalov to a ridiculous contract. We had no choice to trade him and get something for him. If we didn’t trade Bobs, he would have bolted for another team when his contract was up. No duh he [Bryzgalov] signed with us willingly. It was his best offer and contracts in the NHL are guaranteed (hence DiPiertro, Gomez, ect.). So the mistake was signing Bryz to 9 years instead of testing what he was worth.

    (Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox! May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.)

    This is exactly why I won’t read or comment on anything you put on the Internet again. You’re as chauvinistic as they come. What makes your opinions so much better than mine? Instead of attacking what people comment with your superior assumptions, you should try and have intelligent conversations. Thanking me for commenting and then being an ass is like saying, “with all due respect” and then saying whatever you damn well please. You understand that bashing me for using my insight to try and foresee future events is exactly what you were doing by writing an article titled, “Why Acquiring Jonathan Bernier Would Set The Flyers Back 5 Years”, right? May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my week to finally see one in person.

    (Niittymaki! Boucher! You get the point. Also, does that crystal ball project alternate timelines? I didn’t realize it was common knowledge that the Flyers were going to sign him to a short term contract, which presupposes that they’re going to trade for him. If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.)

    Again, being an ass is not the best way to increase how many people read your articles. Cechmanek, 30 when he played in Philly (played well, but wasn’t a franchise guy), Hackett, 35 and average at best, Esche, 24 (one decent year and then no more), Biron, 30 (played well for two seasons, but again not a franchise guy), Emery got hurt and Leighton was a fluke that ran on adrenaline, a great team and knowing it was his only shot to do anything to get to the Stanley Cup. All of this seems irrelevant now that Bernier is a Leaf, but he is still predicted by many to be a star in this league. And not just by ignorant fans. And that is obviously what you think I am.

    (You realize you’re talking about the team that signed Chris Gratton to a 4 year contract with a $9 million signing bonus, right?Well, yeah, sometimes this organization makes a brilliant move. But some times they trade a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft pick and a prospect for Adam Oates.)

    This is a perfect definition of a paradox if I cite your earlier argument, “If they [fans] think Bryz is at fault while the Flyers brass [Ed Sinder and company that runs the franchise] doesn’t, it either says that the fans are wrong, or the executives are. Remember, the executives are the guys who drafted Giroux, not the fans.” You have contradicted yourself by saying that the Flyers have good tactics when deciding what will make the team successful. Gratton and Oats were disastrous choices, just like Bryzgalov.

    (You’ve been schooled, my friend, and relying on the puerile argumentative tactic of suggesting I ‘watch a game every now and then’ does nothing more than give you an opportunity to believe that rhetoric can be defeated by axioms.)

    Don’t get ahead of yourself. Your argument hardly presents things that are generally presumed to be true. It is what YOU assume to be true, which without affirmation by other credible sources means just about nothing. I have never once attempted to pass off my opinions as anything other than what they are. I understand that what I think has a probability of being wrong. That’s why I commented on your article. I did so in hopes that my thoughts would be respected. You have used much more rhetoric than I have, (‘That’s a great joke!’ ‘Man, do you read dictionaries? That’s an absolutely perfect example of a paradox!’ ‘May I see your crystal ball? It would just make my day to finally see one in person.’ ‘Also, does that crystal ball project alternate timelines?’ ‘If you can accurately predict stuff like this, you’d make a fortune in the stock market.’), in order to make me feel inferior to your seemingly immense hockey knowledge and to intimidate me into allowing you to beat me with arguments that sound more like a Michael Moore film than a well-rounded, well-supported argument. You, sir, are an ass, a hypocrite and above all an arrogant, presumptuous little know-it-all who throws his opinions around as facts like a spoiled child. You will not win the hearts and minds of Philadelphia Flyers fans (if that’s who you’re targeting, which would be a tough sell considering how much you bashed us) with how you have treated me on this comment board.

    ……… and boom goes the dynamite.

  • FlyerFanSince88

    Bryan, you sound like a douche in your article & in your comments. Your attempt at being witty in your comments back to SantaClaude was lost in the fact that you’re a dick. Philly fans like you are the ones who give the rest of us a bad rep. If you have any Flyers gear please donate it to your nearest Goodwill because we don’t want you.

    • https://www.facebook.com/LifeAfterNovel Bryan Way

      I don’t know if you noticed, but I apologized to SantaClaude28. My handling of that situation was uncalled for and he correctly pointed it out. I will not, however, apologize for my writing style and my opinions. If you don’t like them, please keep disagreeing with me!

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  • SantaClaude28

    Jonathan Bernier this season = 2.44 GGA and a .929 Save %. Him and Steve Mason as a tandem would set the Flyers back 5 years? Boy I bet you feel dumb…