Should the Flyers buy out Ilya Bryzgalov? Will they? Should they consider bringing back Jaromir Jagr? Read on for the latest.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi recently listed five reason for the Flyers to buy out goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and five reasons not to. Money made both lists, for while a compliance buyout would clear his cap hit (over $5.66 million per season), they would still have to pay him two-thirds of his remaining salary.
Carchidi speculated Bryzgalov’s future could hinge upon their off-season plans to add depth at defense. If the Flyers buy out or trade Danny Briere and (as expected) put Chris Pronger on LTIR, that could free up over $8.7 million. If it’s not enough to land two productive players, it could give them the option to buy out Bryzgalov.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun, however, subsequently reported Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said there was no basis to speculation Bryzgalov would be bought out this summer. Holmgren claimed the addition of Steve Mason at the trade deadline was to strengthen the Flyers depth in goal, not replace Bryzgalov.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suspect Holmgren hopes to use the cap space from a buyout/trade of Briere and placing Pronger on LTIR to bolster his depth for next season. The Flyers have all their core players under contract so there’s no major re-signings to be made. They can either go the free agent route, or draw from their depth at forward if they wish to go the trade route to add depth at defense. Don’t forget, they can wait until next summer to buy out Bryzgalov if they wish. Holmgren’s intention may be to retain Bryzgalov, but if he needed cap space to add a star defenseman this summer, he won’t hesitate to buy out the veteran netminder.
PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish suggests the Flyers should make a serious pitch this summer to bring back Jaromir Jagr, who departed last summer via free agency. Fish noted Jagr’s former linemates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell haven’t been the same since his departure, and his return could also bring a measure of much-needed veteran experience.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr had no ill feelings toward the Flyers for not re-signing him last summer, understanding it was merely part of the business. If the Flyers have serious interest in him this summer, Jagr will certainly listen, but that could depend upon what moves Holmgren has in the works heading into the June Entry Draft weekend and the start of the UFA period.