Philadelphia Flyers Buy Out Ilya Bryzgalov, What to Do Now?
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In order to rid themselves of the Russian netminder's extensive contract, the Flyers will pay Bryzgalov $23 million over the next 14 years (though it will not count against their salary cap).
With Bryzgalov's hefty contract scheduled to be on the books for the foreseeable future, it was bound to happen.
Bryzgalov's numbers were trending down, and he just wasn't worth the money or the distraction he was becoming in the City of Brotherly Love.
The question is now: Where do the Flyers go from here?
As of right now, the only goalie under contract is Steve Mason, who's also seen his career take a wrong turn after having a tremendous rookie campaign for the Columbus Blue Jackets that included 10 shutouts.
Mason, who came to Philadelphia during the 2013 season, was very good for Philadelphia in seven appearances, registering a save percentage upwards of .940 and a GAA of 1.90.
The Flyers, however, will almost surely be looking for another goalie this offseason, as seven games is just too small of a sample to justify handing over the reigns to Mason.
Philadelphia has now used both of their compliance buyouts—the team bought out forward Danny Briere a few days ago. According to Anthony SanFillippo of Flyers Inside Out, getting the two veterans off the books will save the team "$12.17 million against the cap in each of the next two seasons."
This gives Philadelphia more room to work in free agency, and the team will be evaluating all of their options to add another netminder.
Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Chris Pronger going on the long-term injured list will give the Flyers approximately $9.1 million in cap space.
With an attractive free agent market that includes Evgeni Nabokov, Ray Emery and Mike Smith, Philadelphia will be able to pair Mason with another talented shot-stopper.
General manager Paul Holmgren will be a busy man when free agency starts.
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