Year after year, the Flyers' ultimate question mark has been their goaltender. The team's current netminder, Ilya Bryzgalov, is under contract for $44.8 million over eight seasons (per NBCSports.com). Needless to say, Byrz did not live up to his pay scale during his first full season with the club. The large question still looms and the Flyers are still searching.
But is Luongo the answer the team has been looking for?
The once highly respected All-Star goalie was outplayed by youngster Cory Schneider last season and lost his starting position with the Canucks as a result. Luongo was still a solid, finishing his season off with a GAA of 2.41 in 55 games (per hockey-reference.com), but he could not hold his position in the playoffs.
Now Bryz, according to most, had a down season, but his numbers were very comparable to Luongo's. He finished the season with a GAA of 2.48 in 59 games (per hockey-reference.com). Bryz was also subpar in the playoffs.
Taking just stats into consideration, Luongo is not much of an upgrade at this stage of his career.
Earlier, I mentioned Bryzgalov's enormous salary, which the Flyers would have to buy out, but Luongo's salary is even bigger. He has nine seasons remaining on his contract for a price of $5.3 million per season, or a total of $47.7 million (per capgeek.com).
Why trade such a huge asset for another, especially for comparable skill levels?
The trade for Luongo would not make sense and would leave the Flyers scrambling next season (or the season after) while losing more money in the process. During this shortened season, the Flyers should ride Bryz and hope the defense steps up its game and takes pressure off their goaltender.
That should help ease the goalie question for this season.
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