The Flyers are going to be good next year. Really good. They will have a healthy Chris Pronger, they have a good defense, good scoring and good secondary scoring. If they can sign Bryzgalov they will answer the biggest question mark in the NHL this season. No more Sergei Bobrovsky, Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher. In comes a goalie who carried his team into the playoffs the past two years with so much off ice activity going on around them. The Flyers will have to trade away some pieces to have the cap room to sign Bryzgalov, but they still have enough pieces to be one of the favorites for the Stanley Cup next year. Not to mention that the Flyers gave up nothing for one of the best goalies in the NHL.
The window is closing fast. Bryzgalov is already 31 and he is going to want a multi-year contract worth some money. So let's go conservative and say he wants four years. How reliable will he be when he is 35 and making a ton of money? He also has attitude problems, such as when he said if Phoenix was relocated to Winnipeg, he was not going with them (not that he was going to re-sign with Phoenix but still have some respect).
Chris Pronger is already 36 and is signed through 2017 with a salary of just under $5 million. Coming off a season with injuries, will he be able to bounce back to be his old self again and lead the Flyers on a Stanley Cup run? Any fan would be lying if they said the Flyers only go as far as Pronger is willing to take them.
Daniel Briere is already 33 and is signed through 2016 with a salary of $6.5 million. It is a stretch to say that he is worth that now (even though he had a great season) so in two years the contract will look terrible.
Claude Giroux's contract raises to $3.75 million after this season, but this guy is an up-and-coming star on this team. Van Riemsdyk needs to be paid at the end of this upcoming season, and he will get a large raise. The Flyers will have cap trouble, which proves to be difficult when you need that trade deadline piece to round out your team.
Signing Bryzgalov is going to be the best thing for the Flyers in the near future and credit Paul Holmgren for getting exclusive negotiating rights from Phoenix for nothing. The Flyers needed to address this area of the team before the window closes. But the Flyers had better win fast because their clock is ticking before they need more pieces to replace the outgoing veterans.
If the Flyers win the Stanley Cup, Holmgren will look like a genius. If they don't, the Flyers may have to think about starting over. After disappointment this season, the Flyers will certainly be the team to beat next season with the most skillful team. With each year past, an opportunity missed and soon enough the window will be shut, so this trade will be looked at as the reason they won the Stanley Cup, or the trade that almost put the Flyers over the edge. We'll see what happens.
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