The Philadelphia Flyers wasted no time as the NHL‘s free agency frenzy began on Friday at noon. After sealing Claude Giroux‘s contract extension for $66.2 million for the next eight years, the Flyers immediately set their sights on acquiring a goaltender. With Steve Mason as the only goalie on the roster, the team really needed to get someone to help him with guarding the Flyers net.
The Flyers managed to sign Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Ray Emery to a one-year contract worth only $1.65 million.
It was reported earlier this week that Emery and the Blackhawks were close to a deal for him to re-sign with the team, so when discussing the Flyers’ options for a goaltender, he was at the very bottom on the list. It appeared like he really was going to stay with Chicago, but clearly the idea of being the backup to Corey Crawford was one of the reasons that Emery decided to return to Philly.
This was a really good business move on the Flyers part. There weren’t too many goaltending options for the Philadelphia team, so they went for a goaltender they were familiar with that wouldn’t break the bank for them. His new goaltending parter’s salary is only $1.5 million total, so their salaries combined is still less than Ilya Bryzgalov‘s salary
Even though Mason “has the start”, the two goalies are likely to work as a 50/50 goaltending duo. Bringing in Emery is also going to push Mason to be more competitive. Both the goalies will be trying to earn the start this season, so it should make for interesting Flyers hockey.
The problem with this deal, is that Emery used to play for the Flyers and everytime the team brings back old players it doesn’t seem to work out for them. The other problem is that Emery was able to be successful in Chicago when he was backed by a solid defense. The Flyers do not have a solid defense, so the blame will be placed on Emery when they lose games.