Philadelphia Flyers Acquire Rights to Illya Bryzgalov; Clearing of Cap Space Ahead

On Tuesday night the Philadelphia Flyers took the first step towards putting a proven goaltender between the pipes, acquiring the rights to Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Illya Bryzgalov.

The Flyers dealt forward Matt Clackson and a third-round pick to the Coyotes for the rights to Bryzgalov who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

This is a tactic the Flyers have used before, experiencing both outcomes. The Flyers traded for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell and were able to get deals done with both. Recently, they’ve traded for the rights to Dan Hamhuis and Evgeni Nabakov, though, were never able to come to terms.

It’s a bit of a risk, but one worth taking if the Flyers are serious about improving their goaltending. They’ve made it clear that Sergei Bobrovsky is their goaltender of the future, but that he still needs a few years of development. Bryzgalov is a proven goaltender and would no doubt receive a lot of interest if he were to hit the open market.

The problem for the Flyers is cap space, as of right now they have only around $400,000  of available space. The league salary cap is expected to rise at seasons end, perhaps rising $4 to $5 million dollars. However, there is no way around it, the Flyers will have to make a move if they hope to sign Bryzgalov.

Who will the Flyers move?

The popular choice is Jeff Carter, while other names like Scott Hartnell and Kris Versteeg have been mentioned as possible trade options. Also, the Flyers have some salaries coming off the books, as well as the inevitable retirement of Ian Laperriere. Though,  some maneuveing still must be done.

 More than likely, the Flyers will have to move two and maybe even three players. Moving Jeff Carter and perhaps Kris Versteeg isn’t far fetched. They could also try and move Jody Shelley who makes over a million dollars next year in a role the Flyers could replace much more cheaply. Also, the Flyers will have to make a decision between Matt Carle and Braydon Coburn, soon. Trading one of them is also a very real possibility.

Should be an interesting few weeks, we’ll see what the Flyers have up their sleeves.

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  • Tom Zambeno

    I don’t see Jody Shelly getting “traded” for obvious reasons since you know… he’s awful, but I do see him being in the AHL, there’s no way anyone claims him. I’m hearing a lot of Carle and Versteeg talk, man Versteeg was a horrible move… and the radios reporting that Holmgren would surprisingly be more interested in dealing Richards than Carter, we’ll see what goes down.

    • Mark

      I think calling the Versteeg move “horrible” is a bit premature. He was injured (IIRC) through most of the playoffs, and the play from the team as a whole was fairly lackluster. I’d give him this season to prove himself, but if he absolutely had to be moved to clear cap space, I wouldnt shed any tears. I think the guy who should get moved is Carter though. Playoff ghost, and while he was one of the leading scorers this year (after shitting the bed in the previous season, where I blew my first round fantasy pick on him….thanks Carter….) he still would bring more in return than anyone else. The main factor to take into consideration is whether the draft pick the Flyers would get for dealing carter could be used to get someone who is ready to play and contribute at the NHL level RIGHT NOW. They cant afford to get the 8th overall pick and use it on someone who needs to spend a few years in the minors.

      • Mike Santa Barbara

        Agreed, I’d give Versteeg another year, it wouldn’t upset me.

  • Mark

    Lapperierre wont retire, he’ll spend another season on LTIR. If he retired his salary (or a portion) would count against the cap. It’d be easier just to keep him on LTIR and let him retire next season when his contract expires.