With the news that the Philadelphia Flyers will use their second compliance buyout on Russian netminder Ilya Bryzgalov, questions instantly abounded in Philly about who the new starting goalie would be.
While Steve Mason did post some rather impressive numbers for the team in his seven starts last season, his track record over the last few years isn't exactly reliable.
As a result, it's more than reasonable to assume that the Flyers will be looking for a goaltender this offseason.
The only real standout on the free-agent market this season is Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith, and his asking price is sure to be inflated by the weak market.
According to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, however, GM Paul Holmgren has indicated that the Flyers will not be pursuing Luongo (for those wondering, "Homer" is Holmgren and "days" should be "says"):
Homer days Flyers will not pursue Luongo.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) June 25, 2013
Perhaps Holmgren has finally learned his lesson with regard to aging players and long-term, expensive contracts.
The problem is this leaves Philadelphia with very few options this offseason.
They could get in a bidding war and use up most of their cap space on Mike Smith, but even he had a down year, and at 31 years old, he has only registered one standout season as a starter.
Then there are the second-tier free-agent options, like Evgeni Nabokov, and backups extraordinaire Ray Emery and Anton Khudobin.
Yet Nabokov is nothing more than a stop-gap option, as he's 37 years old, and while the other two may be impressive backups, Emery isn't an inspiring option as far as starting is concerned, and Khudobin has never been a starter at the NHL level.
Regardless of what direction they go in, the Flyers are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now.
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