Philadelphia Flyers’ Goaltending Options
Philadelphia Flyers' Goaltending Options
The Philadelphia Flyers' main concern this offseason needs to be to acquire much needed goaltending help for Steve Mason. As of right now the Flyers are sticking with Mason as the starter, but with only seven games under his belt with the Flyers that does not really warrant the starting position. With Ilya Bryzgalov gone due to team buying out his contract, they don't appear to have much of a choice.
Rather than start the goaltender carousel again by pulling up one of the minor league goaltenders, the Flyers should really consider trading for or acquiring a solid goaltender. With their defense lacking they are really going to need to step up their game in net.
Mason has a lot of potential and he could be a solid goaltender, but he has not played enough games in Philadelphia to prove his worth. Yet. He'll get there, but he's going to really need a goalie that he can play in tandem with. The Flyers do have Anthony Stolarz in the system, and he has been making strides in net. The team could have him on their roster in the next few years. This means that they really just need another goalie for the next couple of seasons before Stolarz is NHL ready.
The Flyers may have missed out on signing the Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Bernier, but there are still a few goaltenders available that the Flyers need to explore. The Flyers better hurry up though, because some of these options might re-sign with their respective teams. Here is a short list of some of their current options.
6. Ray Emery
Ray Emery did well backing up Corey Crawford with the Chicago Blackhawks this year, but returning to Philly is not a good idea. Based on how other players have fared since returning, it means Emery will be terrible if he's a Flyer again. However, Emery is not likely to be an option anymore as it has been reported that he is close to re-signing a deal with the Blackhawks. I'm keeping him on the list, though, just in case Paul Holmgren does something insane.
5. Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller would be a great goalie to bring in... if it was 2010. Since the last Olympics, Miller just hasn't been the same powerhouse between the pipes that he used to be. It may be due to age, but either way he doesn't have much interest in sticking around with a rebuilding team, so the Flyers might have a hard time acquiring this goalie. He is still an option and it has been reported that the Buffalo Sabres have asked the Flyers if they are interested in him. There's no word yet on if it's something the team is seriously considering.
4. Jake Allen
Jake Allen got his chance to show he has what it takes when he was called up by the St. Louis Blues during one of Jaroslav Halak's injuries. He went 9-4-0 in 15 games with a goals against average of 2.46 and a .905 save percentage. He wouldn't be a bad acquisition to work in tandem with Mason.
3. Evgeni Nabokov
The New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov might be a good idea if only to give Steve Mason some much needed goaltending support. However Nabokov will be 38 next season and he was really inconsistent last season. He did go 23-11-7 and led the Isles to the playoffs, so age might not even be a factor for him.
2. Tim Thomas
It has been reported that Tim Thomas is ready to come back to the NHL after taking a year off. The Boston Bruins traded him to the New York Islanders because of the hiatus, and since he has never played a game for Isles they might want someone to take him off their hands. They have come out and said they have no desire to re-sign him. The problem with Thomas is that he's just as outspoken as Ilya Bryzgalov so the Flyers might not be all that interested. The bigger problem is that Thomas has not been in net for a full year, so we have no idea where his game is at if the Flyers brought him in.
1. Jaroslav Halak
Jaroslav Halak might be the Flyers' best option if they want a starting goalie. Halak was injured a lot this season so that may account for his 6-5-1 record, but he did only play in 16 games. Due to this Brian Elliott took the starting position from him and is likely to retain it next season. Halak might be looking for a change of scenery if he's unable to earn back the starting position. If the Flyers want to go for him, it will really depend on what the St Louis Blues' asking price will be.