Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Aspiring cosmonaut seeking work

By Jeff

One of the worst kept secrets in the NHL is finally in the open today. The Philadelphia Flyers are using their second compliance buyout on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

The man who became a star because of his universe rants on "24/7" will be paid $23 million by the Flyers not to play. Can you imagine that? You suck so bad at your job, or are just not the right fit at your current company, that they pay you $23 million not to come back. Can you really call Bryzgalov a loser here when this is considered?

Bryzgalov was the man the Flyers owner Ed Snider said he thought would put the Flyers over the top. Instead he got a guy his teammates never liked, his coach didn't like and the fans hated with a passion.

It's easy for us couch GMs to make fun of the poor decisions of real life GMs, but did anyone really think that Bryzgalov was the answer? He was the product of a defensive system in Phoenix. A system that couldn't cover for Bryzgalov's poor playoff performances. The man known as Bryz recorded a postseason goals against average of 3.73 and a save percentage of .896 in 11 postseason games with the Coyotes.

Yup, sounds like the missing piece to me!

The funny thing is, those numbers came while he was playing in a defense-first system, which Philadelphia certainly was not upon his arrival.

It's a joy to see the Flyers fall on their face with this move, but it's also sad that Bryz is gone. I was looking forward to he and Danny Briere (The other Flyers buyout) sucking more than $12 million from their cap for the next few years.

The good news is the Flyers have Steve Mason as their goaltender right now. There is talk of them bringing in Roberto Luongo, which would put them back in the cap hell they just got themselves out of with Bryz. Even Luongo admits his contract sucks!

It's stories like this, and the fact the Flyers signed 35-year-old Mark Streit to a 4-year, $21 million deal, that remind Pens how lucky have Ray Shero building their team.

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