Ilya Bryzgalov’s poor play hurting his potential free agent value, the Blues could be in need of a backup goalie, and the possibility Nik Zherdev could return with the Flyers.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle reported the struggles of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in his team’s playoff series against Detroit could have an adverse impact upon his value in this summer’s free agent market. If he’s unsigned by the Coyotes by July 1st he would be considered the best available goalie on the market but two years of playoff disappointment against the Red Wings could hurt his asking price. He’s coming off a contract paying him $4.25 million per season. Mirtle writes Bryzgalov’s best option could be re-signing with the Coyotes, though there’s rumors that could change if the team relocates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given that next season is the final one under the current CBA and the uncertainty over what could be contained in the next one, it’s possible Bryzgalov might not find a lucrative long-term deal this summer and might instead have to settle for a one-two year contract worth between $4.5-$5 million per. Mirtle is right that his poor playoff performance against Detroit could hurt his market value, but I believe there’ll still be a few teams willing to sign him if the Coyotes fail to do so, or if Bryzgalov decides not to follow the club to Winnipeg if they should relocate this summer.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeremy Rutherford reported backup goalie Ty Conklin is an unrestricted free agent this summer and may not be back. The Blues could call up either Ben Bishop or Jake Allen to back up starter Jaroslav Halak, but Rutherford suggested if the Blues are looking for a goalie to push Halak and possibly start 20 games they might opt to go with a veteran.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This summer’s free agent market is loaded with veteran goalies so if the Blues opt to go that route they shouldn’t have any trouble finding a suitable replacement for Conklin if they’re unable to re-sign him.
PHILLY.COM: Rich Hofmann reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren singled out much-maligned forward Nikolay Zherdev for his improved work ethic and performance despite seeing limited ice time after passing unclaimed through waivers at mid-season. Holmgren believes somebody might take a look at Zherdev this summer and didn’t rule out the possibility of re-signing him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zherdev would have to agree to a substantial pay cut from the $2 million he’s made this season, especially if he were to re-sign with the Flyers. I don’t see where he fits into the Flyers future plans.