Flyers Acquire The Rights To A Goaltender

8 06 2011

Finally the Flyers have gotten a legitimate goaltender. Sort of. No more Michael Leighton, Brian Boucher or the Bob next season, who all gave us fun rides, but they were mirage’s at best.  The Flyers today acquired the rights to Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Finally.

Before we all go assuming he’s our new starting goalie, we needs to chill for a minute, he most likely will be our starting goalie next season.  The Flyers acquired his rights, as he is a free agent this off-season and by doing so can negotiate with him before any other teams.  Teams rarely trade away talent without having a potential contract in mind.  Whether this potential signing was discussed between the Flyers and Ilya’s (I’m not spelling Bryzgalov constantly) agent is likely although “illegal” in the eyes of the league.  Or the Flyers know exactly what deal it will take to get done and are supremely confident they will do so.

“We’re going to give it our best shot.  Obviously we gave up an asset to get a chance to get in early so we have every intention of trying our best to get a deal done.” – GM Paul Holmgren

The Flyers in exchange sent the Coyotes forward Matt Clackson, a 2012 third round pick and a conditional draft pick, which GM Paul Holmgren said will not be a first or second round pick, to Phoenix. The Flyers aren’t giving that away if they aren’t fairly certain they are going to get something in return.  So we do have to wait until July 1st for a signing announcement, which is when free agency opens.  I feel pretty strong that Ilya will be the goaltender we’ve all dreamed of for some time next season and will give the Flyers the stability they need going forward into an Eastern Conference which could potentially house the Detroit Red Wings.

Ilya did win a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks as a backup goalie in in 2007, who had Chris Pronger as a teammate.  Ilya then moved onto Phoenix where he has been the full time starter for four years now. Below are his numbers from his four years as a starter and if you project that going forward for the Flyers next season you can hope for something around the 2.40 Goals Against Average and somewhere in the Save % of the .918 neighborhoods.  Next season is gonna be awesome.  Tip of the hat to the Flyers office for realizing what had to be done and putting the aggressive foot forward.

Look for Ilya to be expecting a contract in the four or five year range.  He’s only 30 years young and a contract of that size is not a deal breaker by any means. Next season’s salary cap still needs to be ironed out and will likely be shaped around this deal.  The Flyers could potentially dump some of their money from up front in the lines to free up some cap space as the Flyers are very flexible with the amount of talent on the team.

Season Team League GP W L T OTL GAA SV% GA SA SO
2007–08 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 55 26 22 5 2.42 .921 128 1621 3
2008–09 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 66 26 31 6 2.98 .906 187 1994 3
2009–10 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 69 42 20 6 2.29 .920 156 1961 8
2010–11 Phoenix Coyotes NHL 68 36 20 10 2.48 .921 168 2125 7
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