June 07, 2011
Are the questions about the position of goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers finally going to come to an end now?
Looking to make a heavy upgrade in the crease, the Flyers have acquired the negotiating rights to Phoenix Coyotes netminder Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) for a third round pick in 2012, a conditional draft choice and forward Matt Clackson(notes).
Coyotes GM Don Maloney was quoted in the press release:
"After several discussions with Ilya and his agent, it became very clear to us that we were not in a position to sign Ilya to a long-term contract," said Maloney. "We will now focus our efforts on adding another goaltender to our roster for the upcoming season."
A year ago, it looked like Evgeni Nabokov(notes) was going to be the solution, but negotiations didn't pan and the netminder left for the KHL. Here is GM Paul Holmgren's opportunity to secure a position on the Flyers' rosters that's been a sore spot.
But as one question potentially comes to an end, another one develops.
Who's leaving town to make room?
Philadelphia currently has $430,845 in cap space for next season according to CapGeek. If it increases to the reported $60-62 million, that will help a bit. Bryzgalov made $4.25 million this season and given his play the last several years and the Coyotes' inability to reach a deal with him, it's obvious he wants to get paid like an elite-level goaltender.
The Flyers currently have 11 players making $3 million or more and it'll be interesting to see which high-priced players are dealt to make room for Bryzgalov's contract. Holmgren has some tough decisions to make in order to fit a Bryzgalov contract under the salary cap and not hinder the team for next season. And as Frank Seravelli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports, the Flyers can't sign Bryzgalov before the new cap is announced unless a deal is made due to tagging space.
On a conference call tonight, Holmgren said that Bryzgalov is looking for four to five years and is waiting for confirmation on what the official cap ceiling will be for next season before making any personnel decisions.