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Monthly Archives: June 2011

5 Reasons to Miss Mike Richards

The shock is still wearing off on Philly fans after Thursday’s franchise-altering trades. While many fans were not surprised with the Carter trade to Columbus, captain Mike Richards was traded less than an hour later to the Los Angeles Kings. Being a big Richie fan and realizing that his t-shirt and jersey joins my Gagne one (and possibly my Carcillo shirt), it was a hard pill to swallow. Not to mention that I was receiving all this news on my phone because I was in the parking lot at the Susquehanna Bank Center (Tweeter/E-Center) hanging out with my fellow Parrotheads getting ready for a Jimmy Buffett concert. I was more shocked than anything, realizing that by trading BOTH Richards and Carter, the Flyers shipped their two first round picks from the 2003 draft that have been the makeup for the future of the franchise for years. However, as much as I liked Richards, I understand the move and we got a good return for the trade. LA gets a top-six center that can play anywhere and will love partying in their town (had to slip that in). We get a great prospect in Brayden Schenn, and some grit on our back end with Wayne Simmonds likely filling a 3rd line role this upcoming season.

Jeff Carter’s trade brought a good return too, with Voracek filling a much needed void at winger and getting the 8th overall pick to draft a good two-way center. Even with the result of the trade, I can’t help but feel a bit cheated. I was looking forward to seeing Richie captain a few Cups during his time here. I had visions of a grizzled Mike Richards in his early to mid-30s with salt and pepper in his playoff beard laying hits and scoring shorthanded goals to win a Stanley Cup. It sucks, but things happen when you get swept in the playoffs after expectations are high. While there are plenty of reasons to miss Mike Richards when hockey rolls around next fall, with the help of my memory and Youtube, here are my top five.
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Trade(s) Coming This Week?

Ilya Bryzgalov visited Philadelphia last week and created a twitter account, tweeting in both Russian and English with hints of good news coming soon. What does this mean for Flyers fans? Hopefully, it means that Holmgren’s meeting with Bryzgalov and his agent Rich Winter went well, and their plans to get back in touch this week will solidify a contract that both sides will be happy with. With the NHL Draft coming up this Friday, the Flyers are expected to make a splash in the trade market. The cap is expected to go up to between $63 and $64 million, so that helps the Flyers in being able to sign Bryzgalov by making some minor demotions to the NHL and using the waiver wire. However, I still think a trade will be coming, small or large so RFAs Powe and/or Nodl can be re-signed, as well as Ville Leino.

I added a new poll on the right on who you’d rather see traded this off-season. The names haven’t changed, and there won’t be much to analyze or talk about until the Flyers make a move. If a trade is announced, you know that the news of Bryzgalov’s contract shortly follows that news, and vice-versa. As it stands now, the Flyers don’t have a pick in this year’s draft until the 3rd round. But we’ll see what happens. I’ll be back with analysis and updates on anything that goes down. Bryzgalov and Winter should be in talks again with Holmgren tomorrow, so expect progress as early as tomorrow afternoon and as late as Friday. Should be a fun week.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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Bryzgalov’s Rights: Where to Go From Here?

Yesterday evening twitter feeds and hockey blogs blew up with the news the the Flyers had traded Matt Clackson, a 3rd round pick, and a conditional pick (Holmgren confirmed not a 1st or 2nd) to the Phoenix Coyotes for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov’s rights in hopes of getting him signed before free agency on July 1st. As Flyers fans, we’ve been speculating since our untimely exit from the playoffs on the Flyers motives for addressing our goaltending issue. This move comes as good news to most Flyers fans who hoped for a goalie to mentor Bob and be ready to win now. But it also comes up as a problem due to our salary cap situation, so how are we going to do this?
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Testing the Waters: Why the Flyers Will (probably) Not Sign Leino or Bryzgalov

Before I begin, keep in mind that I am a Leino fan and would like him to return the Flyers, but not if they overpay him. I’d also love to see Bryzgalov get a shot over here and bring his talents to our team so close to a championship. But with the salary cap and the market, in my opinion there’s a chance they will not be here next year. And here’s why.

Ville Leino will be 28 at the start of next season, and Ilya Bryzgalov will turn 31 by the time free-agency on July 1st rolls around. Why won’t the Flyers sign them? Simply because they both are set up to be paid big in this contract. Three years from now, neither of them will be able to command as much money or as many years as they can now. Ville Leino has been trying to strike the NHL for years, and finally got his shot to show his stuff last year in the playoffs. Ilya Bryzgalov has been the best player on the Coyotes for years now, and he wants to get paid and win some games before he’s too old to do so. It only makes sense that these guys are going to go after bigger contracts with more financial security.

Ville Leino wants to stay in Philadelphia, we all know that. He has good chemistry with his linemates, and he fits in a lot better here than he did in Detroit. But how much will that affect his decision making when he could easy make $3.5 million in another city that has money to splurge? (New York Islanders, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Unknowns, Florida Panthers, etc.) As I’ve said in previous posts, I want Leino to stay. Quality wingers are in short supply in our franchise, and he is a great forward with some nice moves and strength on the puck. But if he asks for more than $3 million, I expect the Flyers to let him walk. We have to sign JVR next year to a new contract, and if next season is anything like his performance down the stretch this past season, he’s going to deserve a substantial raise.

Ilya Bryzgalov has been rumored to liking Philadelphia as a possible destination for his next job, but at what price? He might be willing to take a smaller salary to play for a contending hockey club, but I can’t see him willing to get too underpaid on what should be his last big pay day. If the Flyers do want to sign him, it would be upwards of $5-$6 million. They have to trade some salary away (Versteeg, Carle, maybe Carter, etc.) in order to be salary cap compliant for the year, and they arguably still have a void or two to fill on defense or forward.

July 1st is about a month away, and it will be very hard to figure out what Holmgren will do. He always seems to get creative around this time, maybe he can trade Leino’s rights at the draft if they can’t reach an agreement with him? Will they trade one of their core forwards? It’s going to be a very exciting early July this year, I hope we get what we need… as long as the price is right.

 
 

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