FLYERS TRADE FOR BRYZGALOV'S RIGHTS
The Flyers traded Matt Clackson, a 2012 3rd round pick and a conditional draft pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for the negotiating rights to soon-to-be free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Paul Holmgren held a conference call tonight and said all the expected things - like they wouldn't have done the deal if they didn't think they could sign Bryzgalov.
And that they have options on the roster to help get them below the salary cap.
But he had a few additional interesting items that didn't make the original story that you'll see in print tomorrow morning or online in a few hours when our Web site finally posts my story.
Here they are:
On signing Ville Leino as well as Bryzgalov:
"We still have the intention of trying to sign Ville, (but) with the salary cap you can only do so much."
Translation: Thanks for your time Ville.
On if Bobrovsky is still the goalie of the future:
"I don't know... I still think the world of Sergei and I think he's one of the top young goalies in our game. Having said that... we continue to try to make our team better. Right now, the position we've put ourselves in, negotiating with Ilya, if we can get him signed, it'll make our team better."
Translation: Ilya Bryzgalov is the goalie for right now and the forseeable future. Where Sergei Bobrovsky ends up remains to be seen. Personally, I think there's a better chance that he plays a full season with the Phantoms or is traded away than he spends the season as Bryzgalov's backup. Of course, if they don't sign Bryzgalov that could change. And if my opinion seems a bit crazy then take this...
Asked about Bryzgalov's workload in Phoenix (he played 68 and 69 games in each of the past two seasons) if he expected the same thing here if he signs, here's what Holmgren said:
"If we can sign Ilya he's a guy used to the workload... He played 70 in Phoenix, maybe he can play 65 here. With I assume easier travel than they have in Phoenix maybe he can play more than 70. We'll just play that as it goes if we can accomplish what we need to accomplish and get him signed."
Translation: If they're even thinking about Bryzgalov playing 70 games (or more) then Bobrovsky will never develop as a backup. Bold prediction: someone else is brought in to back up Bryzgalov, Leighton is bought out (or waived to the minors) and Bobrovsky is either sent down or traded.
Asked if he has a deadline in mind for when he feels he needs to know if Bryzgalov will sign with the team, Holmgren offered this clue:
"I think we have some time, (but) ideally before you get to the Draft you'd like to know if you have a deal in place and then we'll see what we can do at the draft in order to - we need to make some adjustments or whatever."
Translation: Expect the Flyers to be active with wheeling and dealing leading up to the draft and possibly at the draft itself. The more active they are, the more likely a deal with Bryzgalov is a definite.