A Match Made in Heaven: Why the Philadelphia Flyers MUST Score Ilya Bryzgalov

Patrick WeaverContributor IMay 18, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 20:  Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Phoenix Coyotes stands attended for the National Anthem before Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 20, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 6-3 to win the series 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Enough has been said and written about the goalkeeping high-jinks that the Flyers entrusted in their short-lived attempt at the 2011 Stanley Cup. We know and they know that something needs to be changed there.

The hockey gods have treated the Flyers with grace since their NHL inception in 1967. They were blessed with a division championship in their inaugural season despite finishing with a sub-par record and playing most of their games on the road. They were then briskly exalted to two Stanley Cup Championships in their first eight seasons.

They've had the pleasure of names like Parent, Clarke, Sittler, Hextall, Brind'Amour, Lindros, Roenick, Forsberg, and Pronger adorning the revered orange and black sweater.

They are rooted for by the self-proclaimed "most intimidating fans in the NHL". After another disheartening playoff run in 2011, they again have a blessing laid right at the tip of their skates.

Ilya Bryzgalov is an NHL-tested and proven free agent goaltender. He's in his prime at 30 years old. He wants to play in a city with a passion for hockey. And he's Russian.

Sergei Bobrovsky has been tested by one season in the NHL and showed flashes of brilliance dominated by rookie inconsistencies. He's 22 years old with a hopeful career ahead of him. And he came to Philly directly from Russia.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of acquiring Bryzgalov would be his ability to tutor and mentor Bobrovsky as he adapts to North American style hockey and learns the English language. He could sharpen the understanding between player and coach. While doing so, it's possible that he could become the steady, adept presence in net that the Flyers have been lacking in their quest to return to their glory days of crowning achievement.

Due to the NHL's salary cap, the Flyers cannot just forge ahead and sign Bryzgalov via free agency and insert him into his new role. They'll need to make some room for his compensation. A trade could accomplish that.

It'll take some star power to impress the Coyotes to trade Bryzgalov. The Coyotes would benefit greatly from a proven scorer. Seven forwards scored more than 20 goals for the Flyers in 2010-2011. Two more scored more than 15.  Of those nine players, the Flyers should be willing to part with one or two in a deal to obtain the perfect fit.

This is too obvious to be coincidence. To be unwilling to trade for Bryzgalov would be covetous.

The Flyers are again being favored by the wonderfully weird gods of hockey. To discount the graceful accommodation in the spotlight would be downright blasphemous!