Latest on Ilya Bryzgalov, Tyler Bozak and Mason Raymond.

Ilya Bryzgalov addresses his future with the Flyers, Tyler Bozak’s in line for a raise, and the Canucks cap crunch could make Mason Raymond the odd man out.

Ilya Bryzgalov unconcerned over possibility of amnesty buyout this summer.

Ilya Bryzgalov unconcerned over possibility of amnesty buyout this summer.

COURIER-POST: Randy Miller reports Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov isn’t concerned over speculation he could be a candidate for an amnesty buyout this summer. “To be honest, I don’t care,” he said. “Really, I don’t care. I have no control on this, so why should I care?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bryzgalov may genuinely believe it’s pointless to worry about something he has no control over, but his comments will be construed as flippant and indifferent, prompting his critics to claim he’s got a poor attitude or is too lackadaisical toward his role. Given the Flyers coming cap crunch and their recent acquisition of Steve Mason, Bryzgalov does appear a likely candidate for an amnesty buyout.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan believes Tyler Bozak’s play this season puts him in line for a “large raise” this summer, either from the Maple Leafs or another club via unrestricted free agency. Koshan bets Bozak re-signs with the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bozak’s current cap hit to the Leafs is $1.5 million. I expect he’ll try to double his average annual salary. The Leafs currently have just over $45.1 million invested in 12 players, but should be able to dump $4.5 million of that with an amnesty buyout of Mike Komisarek. They must also re-sign Nazem Kadri, Clarke MacArthur, Cody Franson and others, so it’ll be interesting to see just how much the Leafs are willing to offer and how much he’s willing to accept.

VANCOUVER SUN: Brad Ziemer last week reported winger Mason Raymond could become a salary cap casualty as the Canucks face a cap crunch next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks want to keep Raymond, but he’s coming off a $2.75 million salary for this season and will seek a raise. They must also either re-sign or replace Maxime Lapierre, Derek Roy and Chris Tanev. They could get some valuable cap relief by trading away Roberto Luongo, but interested parties will either demand they take back some salary in return, or absorb part of his contract. Buying out the remainder of Luongo’s contract via amnesty buyout would help, but management hopes to trade him for a decent return. They could end up losing Raymond to free agency.


  1. I have to agree with the comments on Bryzgalov. His no care attitude translates to his on ice play. He seems disinterested and from what I’ve seen he’s not a very good teammate. You often hear of players going for the money, well I believe this is the case. He doesn’t care because he’s getting paid either way. I’m sure that in the back of his mind he’s thinking that he’ll get 20+ million in a buyout so it ain’t all that bad. There’s no winning attitude. He either makes the save or not, either way it’s not a big deal.
    However, the Flyers most pressing need is a blueline. If they need money to get it than Bryzer gets bought out along with Briere.

  2. That Bryz quote was taken entirely out of context. Nothing out of the ordinary for Philly media.

    • Agreed. The media was trying to get him to bite and he didn’t give them the satisfaction. He has played well this season and would be outstanding if he had defense in front of him. Bobrovsky wasn’t developing for the Flyers and is now a Vezina candidate he first year away from the Flyers organization.

  3. All the talk around bozak is he is looking north between 4-5 mil. and at that price I say don’t let the door hit ya on your way out.. at 3-3.25 i am interested in locking bozak up for 3 years maybe even last year of his deal you give him 3.5 so lets say 3years total 10 mil. Bryzgalov is a weird scenario for me. If the flyers buy him out, you would half to think they would be the front front runners for a luongo trade. question is would you take a chance on bryz for 1.5 mil or even a 1mil after buyout? I know I would but with him getting millions of dollars to sit at home you half to wonder if he will just retire?

  4. I think MacArthur will be gone with Frattin essentially getting plugged in the lineup at cheaper rate. I like MacArthur’s hands and forecheck but he has no upside and we don’t play him on PP or PK. He was part of the old Kulemin/Grabovski trio which got the Leafs solid secondary scoring in the past, but Carlyle has decided to turn Grabovski into a checking centre despite being a creative offensive player.

    Grabovski was a fiery 2 way centre when in a offensive role. His current defensive role seems to have sapped his energy/will to play like a mini-Datsyuk. Since the contract he is less frequently aggressive and wreckless on the forecheck/backcheck/going to the net. Which makes him not worth 5 million which will become a problem unless he is promoted to a scoring role or regains a better mindset.

    Bozak could be trouble. The Leafs cannot afford to lose his faceoff ability. He would be a solid 2nd/ great 3rd line centre with his faceoffs, defensive savy, vision and ability to play in a top 6. His game is much better suited to a checking role like a Horcoff. The Leafs still need to acquire top 2 centre depending where Kadri lands.

    I would love to see Carlyle try Kessel with Kadri and Lupul before deciding if Kessel is worth resigning or trading him for a young centre.

    That is my rant that went all over the place

    • Ya so my point, I agree Bozak can’t be given more than 3 – 3.5 per season. In todays NHL you need to pay players based on role. For instance that is why paying Grabovski 5mill on a 3rd line with little PP time is a problem.

      • Ya a huge problem for you guys, why would Bozak take $3mill when crappy Grabo is making $5mill+???? Another brilliant move by the great Brian Burke.

      • Agreed. Bozak almost doesn’t fit the thrid line checking role since he’s not physical at all. I suppose you can slot him in on a third line but I think he would fail. As a second line guy I suppose it makes more sense but that means Kadri becomes you number one guy since he is clearly not a number three guy. Kadri’s faceoff issues become a problem as a number one guy so he is more suited as a number two. Where does this leave Grabo in all this?

        Kadri would be an awesome number two center
        Bozak whould make an ok number two guy, maybe a number three guy but his lack of physicallity could present a problem if the thrid line is a physical/cycling checking line (not his style of play). McClement would be a much better checking thrid line center and comes much much cheaper at $1.5M
        Grabo is not playing as a number one, two or three guy right now. His lone ranger rushes are becoming to predictable much like Kessels wrist shots from just inside the blue line near the boards.

        To sum up; The Leafs still need a number one center and if they could find one then Bozak or Grabo don’t really fit in anywhere especially at those salaries being discussed.

        • If Kadri could become an average faceoff man I think he could be the #1 centre. He certainly has the vision to be one. I am sure most young players struggle with faceoffs. You have to imagine a player with as fast hands as Kadri could become around a near 50% guy.

          • might be time to try Grabovski on a wing

          • If by on a wing you mean a wing back chair in the press box…I agree.

          • All this talk of Grabovski being so offensive is a bit much, been in the league 7 years with 2 50 pt seasons both under Wilson who some how managed to get goals for kuli in one of those not sure why Burkie paid him what he did but maybe it’s time to call a spade a spade, good faceoff guy most likely a second center on another team that is even less deep at center then the leafs or with other Russians perhaps but is really lacking any kind of role where he is now…

  5. Bryzgalov shouldn’t be bought out. If they move him then they’ll have to fill the hole with another goalie. I know they need to add a dman so by out Briere and use his salary. PHI finally has solidified its goalie position after years of patching together half ass goalies. If they improve the D the goalie should do better as well.

    • Bryzgalov and Mason are FAR from solidified.

    • Problem—no team in their right mind would take him back at that salary

  6. Philadelphia is where goalies go to lose their confidence lol. You just know Bryzgalov will land somewhere else and play great again. If I was Philly I would try signing another 1A type guy to compete with Mason for the starting job and hope 1 takes it over. Bishop would have been a good fit.

    • Bryz looked like he was on drugs or drunk when Philly played the Leafs last Thursday. I’m dead serious…

  7. Bryzgalov should be bought out. He doesn’t have the ability to take on this role.

    I think Bozak will hit the market and the Leafs will replace him with Weiss.

    • Doubt the Leafs Weiss who is listed at 5’11”, 190lbs who scores about 20 goals and 50 points when they have Grabo listed at 5’11”, 183lbs who should be scoring 20 goals and 50 points if put in the number one center position.

      Why buy out Grabo and take on Weiss? Is that really much of an improvement?

      • That is what I’ve been saying for sometime now, no more small shifty centers, trade or buyout Grabo look for a 1 or 2 with some size and sandpaper dosent need to be a 50 pt guy (tho that would be good) make the top line or second line harder to play against and help with the cycle game (Hanzil, Backes, Oriley here’s a thought Thornton if they blow up SJ if things keep going south there) there are centers out there with some size which is my main point, if you have to lose Bozak you have him replaced with what should be a better fit anyway, if you can’t find or trade for an upgrade sign Bozak but at a reasonable amount which will also make him valuable in future moves going forward…

        • Quit with the Weises and Roberios of the world we have enough of them…. None are that much if any of an upgrade of what we have already…

  8. I’ve watched the Kings play the Canucks this year and it seems like the biggest thorn in the Kings’ sides was Mason Raymond. I can’t imagine why the Canucks would let Raymond walk if he asks for a reasonable salary.

    The Flyers have the same problem that the Rangers do. They keep swapping out good players in search of someone better; in the process they get worse. I have no doubt that they’re about to do the same thing with Bryzgalov. They’ll buy him out and he’ll go sign somewhere and become an All-Star again.

    One would think the Flyers would take a look at Bobrovsky and figure it out. Bobrovsky went to a marginal team in Columbus and is now a potential Vezina finalist. But apparently not. Of course, a big part of the problem is that they gave Bryzgalov way too long a contract. Tough position.

  9. success is work, hard work and confidence and plenty of it. The leafs seem to be on this path. They are to be congratulated, not picked at, for the season that they are having. As a fan I appreciate that which they have done and who know were it will end. Can there be improvements….of course! But as a team they have come a long way while playing with a large number of new players. Experience will add to their new make up. I can remember the Leafs throwing 50 shots at an opponent and coming up short, just as teams below the Leafs are experiencing now. Thank you for what you have provided so far this year …enjoy…and all the best as you go forward.

  10. If TML can move Grabo that be the best. Bozak is McClement on steroids, keep him around for a bit longer.

  11. I think the Leafs should make a concerted effort to re-sign Bozak. Perhaps they could convince him to take a hometown discount much like the Canucks have done in the past with several of their key players with expiring contracts. Before all the Boz bashers storm the castle with their pitchforks and flaming torches, allow me to explain. One of the most oft repeated errors of previous Leaf regimes was trading away, or allowing to leave via free agency, certain players for whom they had no adequate and ready replacements. I like Kadri… alot, but one lock-out shortened season does not a career make. Let’s be a little more patient with our budding superstar and not thrust greatness upon him. He taken great strides this year but needs to be nurtured a little longer. Besides, I like the idea of two scoring lines as opposed to putting all of our offensive eggs in one basket. As far as acquiring a top notch first line centre, look around the league. Other than Joe Thornton, elite centres are drafted and developed within. Think Crosby, Datsyuk, Getzlaf, Malkin, Backstrom, Sedin, Giroux, etc. Free agency is not the answer, where you wind up overpaying for a past-his-prime veteran with little left in the tank. Tim Connolly is a prime example of this. Wasn’t he supposed to supplant Bozak as the much needed number one centre after the Leafs lost out on the Brad Richards bidding war? (and aren’t we all greatful that we weren’t saddled with that onerous contract?)People are quick to point to Bozak’s offensive stats when dismissing him as a true number one pivot, but the players on his wings certainly seem to be flourishing. Look at the year Kessel and Lupul put in last season, and as far as all around play, Bozak’s true value lies in the minutes that he plays, PP and PK, key face-offs, not to mention the fact that Carlyle absolutely loves the guy. If it was as simple as removing Bozak and plugging in a “name” centre, consider how many candidates were brought in over the years to play on Mats Sundin’s flank that met with less than resounding sucess. Chemistry is often conditional. I believe that until Kadri proves himself ready for the first line job, or the team lands a sure fire, can’t miss number one centre, than Bozak is their best option.

  12. I wonder if the canucks can have their cake and eat it too. I think preferably the canucks trade both Lu and Ballard. Lu’s cap hit is amazing even if teams are balking at the term. Ballard is a top 4 D man in over half the teams in the NHL. So hopefully they can get something decent in return, but even if they get very little, that frees up valuable cap space. Add to that the 2.5M that malhotra earns and you have a cool $12M. Subtract the $5.5M reduction per team to get to $64.5M, and you have $6.5M in cap space avail to resign your FAs and offer Roy a deal that is front end light for the first year, but then grows in the remaining years as the team’s Cap space grows with revenue.

    Seeing how good Roy is and how important he is to our team, i’d sure hate to lose him.

    Just my take, on what i’d like to see.

  13. @ Bowman, Good post!

    I feel bad for Grabovski. He was offered way too much money, but only a dummy would say no to it. Then Carlyle makes him a checking centre, and he is paralyzed when he has any chances to be creative because he is afraid to fail and be assigned yet again to Chateau Bow Wow. Before we go trading anyone, and then trying to find the guy who is not available out there to replace the guy we just got rid of, I would like to test out a line up change. We all agree Bozak is the most defensive oriented centre aside from McClement. Have Bozak centre McArthur and Komorov/ Frattin. Let Grabo try centering both Kessel and JVR, and / or Lupul and Kulemin. If Grabo truly is a second line centre, give him a chance to prove it, and likewise with Kadri as a potential first line centre. Maybe there is a better fit all around, with the same or even better result. Grabo did it 2 years ago with McArthur and Kulemin. At least let the guy have a chance to try to earn his 5 million. You cannot expect much when he plays 10 minutes a night, centering the designated defensive line for the team. My fear is that we create another episode of Leaf folklore, where they trade him, his numbers and career take off, and we are left looking for someone to replace him.

    • Have you guys been watching Grabo giving the puck away lately?…at least when he is in his role on the third line ( or on the bench) he is not quite so much of a liability, due to the fact he has another defensive type forward to back him up. You put him on the ice with Kessel and JVR who are not exactly known for backchecking or playing in their own end there is going to be problems. I agree for a year or 2 he played great in an offensive role but you can not sacrifice the good of the team to try and jump start Grabo, Bozak wins draws plays better with Kessel and JVR, and makes smarter plays with the puck (no blind drop passes as he is going in to the o-zone) trying to switch up lines and chemistry between them because Grabo is overpaid and dosent fit in the 3 hole is a huge mistake…

      • As far as moving putting Lupul on a line with Kuli and Grabo….give your head a shake why are you going to punish Lupul who has a great thing going with Kadri to put him on that line again to jump start a guy who was overpaid and another guy who has been a bit of an offensive struggle for the past 2 years, it’s like taking a gifted student out of an enrichment class to try and make your home ec Or auto shop class look smarter…Grabovski has a bad contract and hasn’t been playing well or even close to the level he is getting paid for so RC has put him where he is because that’s what fits best…they are playing well and unfilled he starts playing to a more acceptable level that’s where he should stay…

        • 6-1-3 in their past 10 and going in to the playoffs is not the time to start messing with line combos and trying to get guys on the third line scoring when offensively things have been going ok and it’s spread out pretty well is ludicrous, Why not have Kadri center McClaren and Orr for a while and see if you can get that line going while your at it I’m sure Colton Orr would love to get 5or 6 by the end of the year….

        • Grabo centering Orr and McLaren isn’t exactly a ringing endorsment. Carlyle is turning Grabo into another Komi situation.

          Bozak looks to be heading in Dominic Moore direction.

          • Nope not exactly…lol but after watching Grabo play for the past month or so can’t say I blame Randy…it’s not like Grabo is playing lights out and the coach is doing this because he dosent like him or for any other motives or reason then Grabo’s level of play, he is lucky he is not a healthy scratch and they plug in Colborne instead….they have been lucky Grabovski hasn’t cost them points/games.

          • More giveaways then a Jehova with double the copies of the watchtower…

          • You could be right I usually focus all my attention on the Kessel/Bozak pairing and just try to enjoy watching the other lines play without critiquing. Either Bozak is turing the corner by finally stating to dig, hit, cycle and play a more agressive style or he is only doing these things because he is a UFA in a few months and is looking for the doughrayme. My guess is it’s only to maximize his UFA status since it’s the first time he has done these things in the three years he’s been in the NHL. A tiger can’t change his stripes. Either way it’s good for the Leafs having him play like this with playoffs around the corner as long as they realize this summer when they try and re-sign him this tiger prefers to play like a cub.

  14. Having watched the Canucks a lot over the years I certainly would not underestimate Raymond’s importance to the team. More so than any other Canuck he attacks defenders with his speed- forcing them to back into their own zone and opening lanes for his team mates or his own shots. Without Kesler in the line-up he logged some solid minutes – creating secondary scoring and a providing PP and PK. For anyone who remembers – Raymond reminds me a lot the young Chris Higgins whom played for AV in Montreal. The organization obviously holds him in high regard- I wonder if you can resign Raymond to a “home town discount” contract with citing Higgins career path as an example of how the grass is not always greener…