According to Daily Times hockey writer Anthony SanFilippo , a source with full knowledge of the Philadelphia Flyers personnel decisions and plans has made it clear to him that the Flyers are going to focus on acquiring a young, long-term solution at goalie this coming offseason.
The source told SanFilippo: "We can't go into next year with the same situation or a similar situation in goal that we have right now. What happened this year is really nobody's fault. Ray (Emery) came in here and did everything we asked and was good until he got hurt. We got lucky with (Michael) Leighton, but we can't expect to win doing things this way in goal."
"It's already been decided that our No. 1 priority for next season is to get a goalie. We have to go out and get that player and commit to him as our guy."
The Flyers haven't had much luck finding franchise goalies in their history as only Bernie Parent and Pelle Lindbergh stand as the only true No. 1 goalies in the team's history. They haven't had a young capable starting goalie since the early days of Ron Hextall, and that's over two decades ago.
The Flyers have struck out multiple times over the years with goalies from John Vanbiesbrouck to Roman Cechmanek, Brian Boucher to Martin Biron. No matter how they searched, they'd come up empty. From their homegrown talents like Cechmanek and Boucher to outside the organization like Vanbiesbrouck and Biron, they just have had no luck.
Part of the problem was the Flyers never prioritized goaltending, and settled for average goalies thinking they could win a Stanley Cup with the position players. The fact that they are now making the goalie a top priority, and are planning on making a long-term commitment to a youthful goalie is encouraging.
Finding capable starting goalies requires high, potentially risky first round draft picks or trading away top prospects and/or young key roster players, which SanFilippo's source indicated the Flyers are ready to do.
"It's probably going to mean somebody is going to have to be traded away, especially if we go after a young goalie on another team, but that's what we're going to have to do. We can't keep going the way we have been. The goalie has to be the most important target and we don't want to keep replacing one veteran with another. We want to get a guy who can be our goalie for several years...We have to go in another direction."
No names were mentioned to SanFilippo in his discussions with his source, but he listed Antii Niemi (CHI), Corey Schneider (VAN) and Carey Price (MON) as potential goalies on the trade block.
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