Posts Tagged ‘Ilya Bryzgalov’

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Review of 2010-2011: 47-23-12, 106 Points, 2nd In Eastern Conference, Lost In Eastern Conference Semifinals  4-0 vs. Boston

Additions Via Free Agency: Jaromir Jagr, Andreas Lilja, Maxime Talbot, Jason Bacashihua

Additions Via Trade: Ilya Bryzgalov, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn

Subtractions:Nick Boynton, Sean O’Donnell, Brian Boucher, Ville Leino, Dan Carcillo, Danny Syvret, Matt Clackson, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, John-Michael Liles, Darroll Powe, Kris Versteeg

Jaromir Jagr (Photo: Getty Images)

Offense: A season of change in Philly is well underway. Cornerstones Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were both dealt, and coming in on the offensive side from those trades are Wayne Simmonds,Brayden Schenn, and Jakub Voracek. Schenn, a highly touted prospect, is hoping to show his abilities in his first full pro season in the NHL. (He only played 9 games over 2 seasons in LA) Wayne Simmonds brings his multi purpose offensive ability to the Flyers, he can shoot, and he can pass.  He’ll look to get another 30-40 point season this year. Jakub Voracek, a high flying right winger formerly of The Columbus Blue Jackets, has the ability to put up 50-60 points this year if he gets put with the right linemates.  Through free agency The Flyers picked up Jaromir Jagr, a former NHLer who still has some gas in the tank, and the drive to try to win one more Cup. While the years have gotten to Jagr’s speed, he still has the hands that made him famous, he can still pass with precision, and make deking look like child’s play.  He’ll look to add some punch to The Flyers 19th ranked powerplay, which should see improvement this year. The Flyers also added Maxime Talbot who will strengthen the 3rd or 4th line, not to mention, a mouth to replace Dan Carcillo’s.

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In this roundtable, Realdeal, Cujo and Joey discuss many topics on the NHL’s offseason.

RD: So who did the best this offseason?

Cujo: I would say the CBJ but that would be very homerish of me.

Joey: I like what CBJ did, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski fit two points of weakness.

Cujo: They got the #1 center they have always wanted, that was the biggest piece it has taken 11 years to get.

RD: They also got the top pair d-man they desperately needed.

Cujo: But you cannot rule out what LA has done this offseason.

RD: They got that #2 center that they needed, even if they gave up the best prospect in hockey.

Joey: Washington had a solid offseason. Beyond just additions but the picks they got for Seymon Varlamov were huge.

RD: I really like Washington’s moves; they got some sandpaper.

Cujo: And Tomas Vokoun cannot forget him, a solid net minder.

Joey: Yeah when I heard Vokoun signed in Washington I hung my head and said ‘oh crap’.

RD: I think people are sleeping on the effect Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer will bring.

Joey: I really think Brouwer was a good pick up, I am a little on the fence on Ward just wondering if he is riding off a playoff showing.

RD: He’s overpaid but he’ll be a solid 2nd/3rd line producer.

Joey: Speaking of overpaid is Brooks Laich worth all that money? I think time will tell on that one.

Cujo: You’ve got to pay for potential, but he nearly had his 3rd straight 50 point season. He missed it by 2 points.

RD: Is he going to get much better? I think 50-55 points is what we’re looking at.

RD: So who’s a team whose moves were puzzling or needed to do more? I’m kind of curious to see how San Jose’s plan works out.

Cujo: I think San Jose thinks they have most of the pieces they need to make a big run at the Cup.

Joey: Buffalo giving 10 years to Christian Ehrhoff, someone who has never played a game in Buffalo?

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In a span of an hour, the Flyers broke up the foundation of the franchise. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have been together in the Flyers organization since 2003, when they were both drafted by the team. They’ll be playing the 2011-12 NHL season in different colors though, after Richards was dealt to Los Angeles and Carter to Columbus. The deals came as a shock to fans, as two of the most known Flyers were sent packing.

The Return
So, what did the Flyers get in these deals?

Jakub Voracek had 14 goals, 46 points for Columbus last year. The 6’1, 205 lb Czech was Columbus’ first rounder (#7 overall) in 2007 and has played three years for the Blue Jackets, amassing 39 goals and 136 points in 241 games.

With Los Angeles, Wayne Simmonds scored 14 goals and 30 points while amassing 75 penalty minutes. The power forward has played the last three years with the Kings after being drafted by the team in 2007. “Simmer”, as he is known, has scored 39 goals and 93 points in 240 games.

Last year, Schenn spent some time with the Kings (0-2-2 in 8 GP), Manchester of the AHL (3-4-7 in 7 GP). He spent the majority of his time in the WHL with Brandon (1-3-4 in 2 GP) and Saskatoon (21-32-53 in 27 GP). In the 2011 World Junior Championships, he tied a Canadian record for points in a single tournament (8-10-18 in 7 games).  Schenn is one of the top prospects in all of hockey.

They also received the #8 & #68 picks in this year’s draft, as well as the Kings’ 2nd rounder next year. What the Flyers plan to do with the picks remains to be seen.

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WHOAAA NELLY! What a half-an-hour the Philadelphia Flyers had late this afternoon. Just on the off chance that you live under a rock, are a member of Swiss Family Robinson, or totally incapacitated via a Lumbar Puncture the quick summary of today is Jeff Carter to Columbus for Jakub Voracek, a 1st and 3rd round pick, followed quickly by Captain Mike Richards sent to LA for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, then the 9 year $51 million deal announcement with goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Needless to say Paul Holmgren gave Shaken Baby Syndrome to his team, and additionally, his fanbase.

I am not going to worry about debating if which trades are good for whom in the immediate term or 2-3 years for now. Even not going to touch on the likelihood that Bryzgalov will complete all 9 years of this contract in Philadelphia.

First thing is I have to question the thought process going in to the goaltender position for Philly. By choosing to trade for the exclusive negotiating rights to Bryzgalov, it comes across as a “win now” mentality if they are going to push Sergei Bobrovsky aside.  Now signing the goalie they must have to an long term contract sure appears to eliminate any chance of Bobrovsky becoming the go to guy in Philadelphia. Should pushing to ‘win now’ be worth taking the starter position away from Bobrovsky due to a fade late in the season? Lest we forget that Evgeni Malkin hit the wall in his rookie year due to never playing an NHL length season before as well. Bobrovsky played almost as many games this season than his two prior years in the KHL. I easily would have seen him be much more prepared for the NHL grind this coming season.

I also want to question Bryzgalov as well. Did he want his money so badly that he took a very heavily front-loaded long term deal when the unloaded contracts to make room for his gaudy demands were also heavy long term deals? I say this in jest but it still honestly wouldn’t surprise me if Bryzgalov’s time doesnt go well in Philadelphia watch him get the heave ho and the reins given back to Bobrovsky.

I know that as a Penguin fan, it is a contractual obligation and morally requisite of me to hate the Flyers and should, by all rights, be laughing at the pain and anguish that the Flyer faithful is going thru tonight. But I have had a question for quite some time, “What does it mean to be a Flyer?”.  That isn’t meant in some ignorant way regarding the image of the team on the ice and within a fanbase.  What I wonder is the philosophy in the front office.  I’ve never was exactly knowledgeable of the ways that Bobby Clarke built his teams.

I have been more understanding of what Paul Holmgren has done since taking over GM duties for Clarke. The Flyers had the worst team in the league in the 06-07 season and several moves late in the season and the subsequent offseason earned praise from me for turning a doormat and team that looked for a slow rebuild into a team that was ready to be playoff caliber right away.  In fact I was impressed enough that I was willing to call him one of the best GMs in the league in such a short amount of time. Ever since then, however, more of his maneuvers tend to leave me scratching my head.

With signing two members of your core to epic length contracts only to trade them several years later to sign another player at a different position to equally surprising term has really lost me. Trading up and coming players or prospects and high level picks for that ever elusive final piece continuously when it hasn’t once paid off and never seeming to end such practices.  Always going the splash route in attempts to improve as opposed to scouring for the right pieces to get the Flyers over the top.  There appears to be no true rhyme and reason or method to their madness that I can discern. Maybe someone got jealous of all this Jagr talk. OK, no not really but that made you chuckle.

Looks like I need more help afterall. So, what does it actually mean to be a Flyer?

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired the rights to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov Tuesday night, trading AHL prospect Matt Clackson and a 2012 3rd round choice, along with another conditional draft pick to Phoenix.

The Coyotes won’t resign the free agent Clackson, as the Flyers had to throw a currently contracted player in the deal so they would not go over the NHL’s 50 contract limit.

Bryzgalov went 36-20-10 with a 2.48 GAA and a 92.1 save percentage in 2010-11.  He also posted 7 shutouts, compared to the Flyers 0 this season.  For his career, split between the Ducks and Coyotes, he is 156-116-35, with a career GAA of 2.53.  Bryzgalov has 23 career shutouts and a 91.6 save percentage.  In 27 career playoff games, he has gone 12-13, winning a Stanley Cup as the Ducks’ backup in 2007.  He has three playoff shutouts, all with the Ducks in their improbable 2006 run to the Western Conference Finals.  Bryzgalov failed to win a playoff series with Phoenix, losing back to back years against Detroit.

Will Bryzgalov be the answer?  The Flyers have to sign him first.  No numbers are official, but it seems he is looking for a deal for $5m to $6m.  Can the Flyers afford that type of money with their current roster? With a quick estimate at Capgeek, if Bryzgalov signs for $5.5m, and Ian Laperriere is put on LTIR, the team will have about $650,000 to fill three to five roster spots.  That won’t happen.  So someone will be the odd man out, whether that is Jeff Carter ($5.3m), Matt Carle ($3.4m), Kris Versteeg ($3.1m), another player, or a combination, remains to be seen.  It would also mean that free agent Ville Leino would not be resigned.  On Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch hinted that the Flyers and Blue Jackets could be trade partners for Columbus’ #8 pick.  Could the Flyers trade a high priced player for the pick? Possibly. GM Paul Holmgren has two weeks before the NHL Draft to see what he can do with Bryzgalov before making his next move.

If signed, the Flyers would have three goalies battling for two NHL spots next year.  Bryzgalov would surely have the #1 job, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Michael Leighton battle for the backup job.  Bobrovsky would benefit from being the starter in  Adirondack, as compared to playing only 20 games with the Flyers.  In addition, Bobrovsky’s cap hit ($1.75m) is slightly larger than Leighton’s ($1.55m), so the team could save some money there.

What happens if the Flyers can’t get a deal done with Bryzgalov? Perhaps they trade his rights to another team, like they did with Dan Hamhuis last year.  And what does this mean for the Coyotes?  They’ll have to add a goaltender, as Jason Labarbera is their only signed goaltender, and he surely won’t carry the load.

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers by Gabbi

This might seem like a homer-analysis to some and that’s fine. But from a statistical standpoint, Henrik Lundqvist was left out of the running for the top goaltender in the league. Yet again. Of course, this year, Tim Thomas is an essential lock for the trophy. So why not throw Lundqvist a bone and give him a nomination? In his 6 seasons as an NHL starter, he has been nominated in his first three seasons of play, and has never won. He’s currently the only goaltender in NHL history to have 30 or more wins in his first 6 seasons of play (he held the record for 5 and shared the record of 4 with Ron Hextall). This season, he was 36-27-5 with a 2.28 Goals Against Average and a .923 Save percentage. Comparatively, his GAA was 7th best in the league, his save % 8th, Wins 8th, and lead the league in shutouts with 11. (He was also #4 in the league with shootout wins.)  King Henrik should have been recognized for his efforts in New York as their team MVP and have been given a Vezina nomination.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks by Joey

Though considered a bit of a long shot, Roberto Luongo should garner more of your thought, attention, and votes for the Vezina this season. Like the fine wine adage, he only gets better with age as he has set personal bests in goals against (2.11 GAA) and his best save percentage (.928) since joining Vancouver. Though there is a few standout netminders that have even better statistics, its more than simply a numbers game. As solid of defense as Vancouver has, it’s not like Luongo only faced 20 shots a night and had tea and crumpets in the goal crease most games. Quite often he more than kept his team in games providing his fair share of pavement on the Canucks road to the President’s Trophy. Don’t get fooled just by numbers. Strongly consider Roberto Luongo for the Vezina.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators by Realdeal

Rinne had a breakout year for Nashville, posting career highs in wins (33, 14th in the league), GAA (2.12, 3rd), Save Percentage (93.0%, 2nd).  He also posted six shutouts, good enough for sixth in the league.  On a team with a less than potent offense, Nashville relied on Rinne, and he rose to the challenge. He put the Predators on his shoulders and led them to fifth place in the West.   He faced the sixth most shots in the league (1771), more than the other two Vezina finalists. Put Rinne on a team with more offense support like his Vezina competitors and he surely increases his win total.

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins by Cujo

Tim Thomas should get your vote and pretty much be a lock for the Vezina trophy. While the other goalies may have had great seasons, nobody could touch Tim. Setting the record for highest regular season save percentage with .938 , throw on top a league leading goals against average of 2.00 and 9 shutouts, and you have yourself prime Vezina material. Another note of interest, this was the second highest amount of saves he’s had to make in his NHL career in one season (1699, the MOST he’s faced was 1796 in 06-07).

Final Voting

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