Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers acquired the rights to
goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, 31, from the Phoenix Coyotes for a 2012 third-round
pick, prospect Matt Clackson and a conditional draft pick.
This is significant for a few reasons:
goaltending woes have cost them legitimate chances to win the Stanley Cup over
the last 15 years. There aren’t many
teams deeper than the Flyers along the blue line and up front, yet the annual
carousel in net constantly holds them back. If the Flyers can get Bryzgalov signed, they may finally have the
franchise netminder that can propel them to the next level. Signing Bryzgalov won’t be easy, but the
Flyers might be the favorite in the Eastern Conference next season if they can
lock Bryzgalov up.
2. Bryzgalov’s contract demands are said to be gigantic, but
the Flyers had to know that before they made the deal. If they’re willing to pony up the $4 million
plus to get Bryzgalov, it might spell the end of Jeff Carter and Ville Leino in
orange and black. Carter has been the
subject of trade rumors for awhile now and with Claude Giroux and James Van
Riemsdyk emerging, Carter is expendable. He’s got an annual cap hit of $5.27 million through 2022, which is a
major financial commitment for any team to undertake, but an offensively desperate
team will be interested. The Flyers
probably wouldn’t consider dealing Carter to the Rangers and the Rangers
wouldn’t want his contract, however, it had long been assumed that Philadelphia would want
to retain Leino. Leino’s an interesting
case, a late bloomer that has really thrived on Philadelphia’s secondary scoring line with
Daniel Briere. He’s a talented young
left winger, a position the Blueshirts could be looking to upgrade. If the Flyers sign Bryzgalov they probably
can’t keep Leino and he’ll be an in demand free agent. Depending on Leino’s contract demands, the
Rangers might be interested.
is interested in trading Brad Richards’ rights and though the Rangers don’t
seem to be concerned with acquiring Richards before July 1st, this
trade sets the bar for trading for free agent rights this season. Supposedly Toronto
is keen on dealing for Richards early and it appears that Dallas can now expect to get a third-round
pick and more for the rights to its coveted center.