Latest on the Flyers – April 24, 2013.

Should the Flyers buy out Ilya Bryzgalov? Will they? Should they consider bringing back Jaromir Jagr? Read on for the latest.

Is there any basis to speculation of a Bryzgalov buyout?

Is there any basis to speculation of a Bryzgalov buyout?

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.

18 Comments

  1. I hope the Leafs add a solid #1/2 defenseman this summer. Someone who can play alongside Phaneuf. I know Reilly, Gardiner or Franson can develop into that guy, but the addition of another pillar on the blueline would really turn the Leafs into a contender. They have the offense to succeed, and the cap space to add.

    • Sooooo…..are you saying that Philly is gonna trade Bryzgalov, Briere or Pronger to the Leafs? Or maybe you are saying that the Leafs should go after Jagr – because for some reason I thought this article was about the Flyers – not the Leafs.

    • You must be some kind of pyromaniac, because you’re going to get flamed pulling the Leafs into a non-Leafs discussion.

      • I was thinking the same.

    • This article has nothing at all to do with the Leafs…

    • I hope Leaf fans like you realize that people that aren’t Leaf fans don’t care what you would like to see happen to the Leafs. This is a Flyers article but I’ll humour you. I hope the Leafs get swept in the 1st round & over pay for any free agents they may sign in the off season.

  2. I think the Bruins will try to keep Jagr.

    • Agreed. They will let Horton walk and at least try to re-sign Jagr. He and Soderberg appear to be developing excellent chemistry together.

      The Broons should also try to get Keith Yandle from Phoenix; he would really help their breakout. How about Krecji even up?

      • I am sorry but I saw no evidence of chemistry at all with Soderberg. Granted its only been a couple games but still nothing there yet. Jagr likes to handle the puck in the offensive zone I counted numerous times Soderberg couldn’t get out of Jagrs way. As for Jagr I think Julien would pull out what hair he has left if he had Jagr for a full season. He seems to extend shifts longer than his line mates and his two way game is nothing to write home about. With all that said I think he was a good pick up for a hopeful cup run nothing more.

  3. I think the buyout should happen in the offices. Fire Holmgren. He completely destroyed this team.

    • Bestest and most loyal “yes” man in the league…it would be like Schnider firing his own dog…lol

  4. I agree with Spector on the Philadelphia buyout rumours. Briere’s a possibility for buyout this year, if they can’t find a team willing to trade for him. He might be attractive to teams lacking in offensive depth like Nashville. But it would be crazy to buy out Bryzgalov’s huge contract this year, it’s a lot of money and they don’t have another goalie waiting in the wings (certainly they’re not going to build the team around Mason unless he has a miracle season). They’ll give Bryzgalov another season to see if he can rebound – he has a ton of skill and goaltender can be a very up-and-down position. If he looks mediocre through next season, they can take a long hard look at a buyout.

  5. The Flyers’ biggest off-season acquisition is two-fold. They need to find a) health, and b) consistency.

    Right now, with the rigors of a 48 game compressed schedule, Luke Schenn is the senior member of the current on-ice defense corps. I don’t include Andreas Lilja since he’s only about 1/4 of an NHL defenseman. Missing key blueliners like Grossmann, Mezsaros and Coburn will hurt any team, regardless of whether they want to use that as a reason for their underachieving or not. They trade for a band-aid, stop-gap solution like Kent Huskins and HE goes down too. Additionally, losing contributing forwards like Hartnell, Briere, Read, Rinaldo and McGinn for extended periods of time will cause havoc with line chemistry and offensive cohesiveness as well. As a Flyers fan, I would just write this season off as one big snake-bitten aberration rather than a true indicator of this team’s competitiveness.
    They should definitely listen to offers for the 8th pick. Their biggest team need right now is a couple of defenders. One two-way defenseman that can lead a rush and make a smart first pass to a player in the same colour jersey, and one to take care of business in front of the net and in the corners. Say all you want about the goaltenders, but more often than not this season Bryz has kept the Flyers in games without getting any goal support while being abandoned by defensive ineptitude. Yes his contract is too long, but the cap hit is in line with a top starting goalie in the NHL.
    I definitely wouldn’t complain about bringing Ron Hextall back to Philly as GM either.

  6. One thing that I continually find hilarious is how commentators and correpsondents talk about buyouts like its pocket change…..we are talking about one time payouts of tens of millions of dollars. I dont care how much any owner supports his team, a GM is going to have a hard time explaining something like that.

    • Owners like to win too and if it makes sence to buy out a player to give the team a better chance at this, its not going to be as hard as you think for a GM to explain it to an owner in situations like the very rich Flyers Leafs Rangers ect…plus as already mentioned its not like they buy a player out and cut him a cheque for the balance of the contract….

  7. Buyouts are not a one time cash payment…google buyouts nhl cap geeks…

    Here’s the skinny on Bryz from cap geeks.

    Ilya Bryzgalov is 32 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2013, setting the buyout ratio at 2/3 and the total buyout cost at $23,000,000 spread over 14 years. His contract was originally valued at $51,000,000 beginning in 2011 and ending in 2020, with $34,500,000 remaining from the buyout year forward. The following is a season-by-season breakdown of the buyout. A negative buyout cap hit indicates a credit.

  8. @THewes, I agree on everything in your post, well written. However, even though I would entertain offers for the first round pick, it would take some SERIOUS talent coming back to actually get me to trade it if I was Homer. They have the opportunity to draft a VERY good d-man with that pick, and God knows they need it. I would rather draft a strong d-man that can grow in the organization then two average depth d-men. Also trade Mez, maybe even Coburn. (I know they lack depth but the d was horrible WITH these guys in the line up.) That would clear close to 9 million to rebuild the d with different bodies as well.

    • It would definitely take a serious offer to pry the 8th overall (if that’s where they end up… they could end up picking as low as 12th-13th if they win out over the next two) pick, but it’s a good opportunity to add a solid defenseman or two in their early-mid 20′s that can fit into the same core age group. Average learning curve for a defenseman breaking into the NHL is, what, 3 years at the earliest? By the time this pick matures into a core contributor at the NHL level, the team’s needs could have completely changed. Not to mention the Flyers organization’s complete ineptitude at developing defense. I forget the exact stat, but I think Chris Therien is one of two Flyers homegrown defensemen to play more than 100 games in the NHL. That’s putrid. If they could translate their success with developing forwards into the same or similar results with defense, this organization would be looked at as an elite franchise. I won’t even get into their history with developing goalies (Lindbergh & Hextall aside).

      As for Mezsaros and Coburn, I would entertain offers for them, but I don’t think you’re going to get value for Mez as he’s constantly on the IR and Coburn’s value is at a low after this season on top of his injury/rehab status over the summer.

      With cap space an issue, Pronger’s contract will be put on LTIR again and they’ll need to choose between Briere/Bryzgalov or both for next season in terms of buyouts.