Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flyers acquire rights to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov

The Flyers may have finally found the goaltender they've been searching for, acquiring exclusive negotiating rights to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov from the Coyotes. Bryzgalov will be a free agent on July 1st, so the Flyers have a little less than a month to try to get him signed to a deal before any team in the league has a shot at signing him.

To get the rights to Bryzgalov, the Flyers parted with forward Matt Clackson, a 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft and future considerations. While it was a bold move by the Flyers, it won't mean a thing unless they can sign Bryzgalov, who made 4.25 million last season and will likely demand a huge, long-term salary from whoever signs him. While Bryzgalov is good enough to be worth that kind of money and he would certainly solve the Flyers goaltending issues for years to come, will the Flyers be able to afford to his huge salary? And if they do, who from the current roster will go? Jeff Carter? Kris Versteeg?

At almost 31 years old and with several good seasons under his belt, Bryzgalov could be the answer in net for the Flyers murky goaltending situation. While he has never been the number one goaltender on a great team, Bryzgalov has put up some eye-popping numbers, including 15 shutouts over the last two seasons. For a team that couldn't even manage one shutout last year, Bryzgalov would be the answer to all that ails the Flyers. Now we just have to wait and see if they can actually sign the guy.

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