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Five Flyers goalie options, post-Bryzgalov (Updated)

Jun 25, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT

Roberto Luongo AP

You all know the news by now — the Philadelphia Flyers will use a compliance buyout on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

It could be that management already has a plan in place to address the starting goaltending for next season, so don’t be surprised if there’s more to this story soon.

But here are five potential options, for discussion’s sake:

Roberto Luongo

Another big contract with lots of years left, but the Flyers have the pockets to take it on, and let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly risk averse. Luongo’s cap hit is $5.3 million, which could be problematic. But let’s say room can be found — at this point, the Canucks can’t expect much in return for the 34-year-old, so for Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren, it could mean getting a goalie with tons of big-game experience for not much more than the willingness to roll the dice.

Update: 2:30 p.m. ET

So much for that.

Ray Emery

A pending unrestricted free agent, Emery went a remarkable 17-1-0 (.922 save percentage) with the Blackhawks during the regular season. There’s still significant risk attached to the 30-year-old, however, as Emery hasn’t been a full-time starter in the NHL since undergoing surgery for avascular necrosis in 2010.

Ryan Miller

A potential trade candidate out of Buffalo, the 32-year-old has one year remaining on his contract, with a $6.25 million cap hit. Miller has been good, but not elite-level, the past three seasons for the Sabres. In 2013, he went 17-17-5 with a .915 save percentage.

Mike Smith

A pending unrestricted free agent, Smith is in line for a good-sized payday. Whether Holmgren would have the appetite to sign another goalie out of Phoenix remains to be seen. Have Smith’s numbers been inflated playing behind a defense-first system? Certainly a few thought that was the case with Bryzgalov. It’s possible Smith ends up re-signing with the Coyotes anyway.

Steve Mason

For the moment, he’s number one on the Flyers’ depth chart. The 25-year-old had his struggles in Columbus, and former Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson may not recommend betting on the former rookie of the year to regain his form. But Mason was good in six starts for the Flyers, posting four wins and allowing just 12 goals combined.

  1. jimw81 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    it’s luongo or emery. i rather see if i get a trade going for hiller and ryan from ducks

    • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      I very much like this idea. Ryan and Hiller would be a welcome move as far as I’m concerned.

      • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        I recall PHL was talking to ANA for Ryan (ANA wanted in exchange Coburn and 11th pick in 1st round).

        I do NOT want to give up the 11th pick this year….but perhaps the two clubs could work out a trade where we send Coby to ANA along with another roster player (and maybe even a lower pick – 3rd or 4th in 2014)…all in exchange for Ryan and Hiller.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Coburn would THRIVE in Anaheim. seems like his kind of game. as much as i’d hate to see him go, he’d have a better chance of being the star he deserves to be there.

      • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        I have never been much of a Coburn fan. Although he has flashes of good play sometimes, he more frequently has flashes of utterly terrible play.

        Coburn led the NHL (and all of the Flyers of course) in giveaways this past season for one.

        And he is a nervous wreck sometimes with the puck. He gets frazzled or hesitant and makes bad passes, leading to scoring opportunities for the opponent.

        Good riddance to him imo if we can trade him somewhere.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        i mean, you can’t have EVERYTHING man. all we want to gripe about on every Flyers defense story is how our team needs some defensive d-men. I think 90% of the time, Coburn is solid defensively. that’s the reason i don’t want to see him go. it’s a step in the wrong direction, IMO. who cares about his offensive production?… that’s why he’s not a top 2 (well…. unless the team is stuck in a perpetual d-man injury rut). we DO still need a top 2 guy, but as far as a top 4 guy, he definitely cuts it.

      • 950003cups - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Philly needs to promote from within and KEEP THEM. Not like the Bobrovsky blunder

  2. canucks30 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Sounds like it’s Luongo time for the Flyers

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Luongo is a very expensive risk. I would go with Emery.

      • r4n6er - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Lou is an established starter. The problem Philly has had is that it offers large contract to fairly unproven goalies. If they want to know exactly what they are getting then Lou is a good option.

      • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Bryz was a proven starter coming off a Vezina nomination, see how that worked out.

      • r4n6er - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        Bryz had one good season while in a competition state with brob, once that drive for #1 slot was taken his play decreased.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        Why would the Flyers pick up a contract that ‘sucks’, to use Luongo’s words, after getting rid of another one? Just doesn’t make sense. Does it mke sense to you? I don’t think they should pick up another team’s bad contract. If they were one goalie away to win the SC then you need to consider it, which is not the case.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        valois, idk if it’s the BEST option out there, but Luongo for 5.3mil is 10x better than Bryz for 5.6. I think there’s a LOT of thinking they’d hafta put into it, but they’d be in a slightly better position with a far better goalie. but ya…. til 2020+ would be tough to swallow if he didn’t work out.

      • r4n6er - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Not saying that it is going to happen but what Philly needs is a known goalie. Lou saying that his contract sucks had nothing to do with dollars and cents, instead with his desire to play. That should be noted as a good quality in the goalie not a bad one. Basically he would rip that contract up and take less money just to play more.

      • yvrmike - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Tell me what the risk is with Luongo. Zero risk for the next 4 to 6 years
        Luongo can take a team to a much higher level more than any other goalie that is available on the cheap.
        Are you serious you are comparing Emery to Luongo. Emery was playing in Russia just a couple of years – Not even a comparison! Smith is staying in Phoenix/Seattle.
        Or you can be a stubborn manager like Yzerman and make all sorts of trades and get one really good back up after the other and at the end you miss the playoffs. How stupid was that for Yzerman.
        If Philly is looking for great back ups, they are there – if they want a proven no. 1 goalie than they have to trade for one. The question is what are they willing to give up. Not much for Luongo maybe a couple a second round picks and you got your No. 1 goalie.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        yvrmike, big cap hit for a 34 yr old goalie for the next 9 years

        Salary Cap Hit
        2013-14 $6,714,000 $5,333,333
        2014-15 $6,714,000 $5,333,333
        2015-16 $6,714,000 $5,333,333
        2016-17 $6,714,000 $5,333,333
        2017-18 $6,714,000 $5,333,333
        2018-19 $3,382,000 $5,333,333
        2019-20 $1,618,000 $5,333,333
        2020-21 $1,000,000 $5,333,333
        2021-22 $1,000,000 $5,333,333

  3. DonkeyStick - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Alright, everyone wait for Buffalomafia to say Ryan Miller

  4. jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Emery or Luongo seem most likely.

    I’d say Halak is also a possibility.

    Really Remote Wild card – Thomas Greiss (SJ)

    I absolutely do not want Miller. (he gripes quite a bit (i.e. bad attitude) and I think he’s overrated and not worth that cap hit of $6.25)

    After the Bryz fiasco (and the D-first system in PHX), I’m hesistant re: Smith.

  5. sjsharks66 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    It will be miller. They will offer him a HUGE contract. Then he will not perform well and 2 years later, buyout.

    • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      They can’t buy anyone out anymore, MAYBE after the next CBA (9 years).

    • yougotgirouxed - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Where have you been sjsharks? I havent see you on here since your Pens lost.

      • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Giroux, you seem confused.

      • yougotgirouxed - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        Devils, if you read this site at all, you would be confused as to why sjsharks’ handle is sjsharks. Dude is a Pens fan.

      • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        I read this site too. That’s how I know he a SHARKS fan.

  6. mz1394 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see them sign tim Thomas since isles aren’t going to toll his contract short term maybe 2 yr deal

  7. devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Stay off of Hiller!!! He belongs to US!!

    • govtminion - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      I must have missed that trade. Looks to me like he’s still in Buffalo until and unless they decide otherwise.

      • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        he was talking about Jonas Hiller – a GT for the Ducks.

      • govtminion - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Gah, thought it said Miller- see what happens when I don’t get my second cup of coffee?

        Either way, still not on New Jersey’s roster though. I’m right in a wrong way. 😀

      • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        I can relate. :)

        I don’t really pick up steam until noon or so. I am deffo a night owl…and like Garfield, I hate Mondays (and mornings in general).

        Thank god for “Jet Fuel” (my fav K-cup coffee…from Coffee People)

      • govtminion - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        I keep a couple of Jet Fuels in my desk just in case myself. Good man 😀

        On topic, are the Devils in need of a goalie for this season? Or is Brodeur coming back next year? I haven’t seen if he’s made a decision or not- if he’s back next year, I’d say take a wait and see approach and see what’s available at the trade deadline next winter- or for free agency after the season. There are a lot of things the Devils need- if Brodeur is still around next season, a goalie isn’t one of them.

      • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        He said a while ago he’s going to play next season, but he WOULD back up if needed. He can’t handle more than 50 or so games anymore consistently. But if Hiller doesn’t get an extension I think Lou will be jumping to grab him at the deadline. Don’t really see a possibilty of the Ducks keeping him especially since he needs a raise and Fasth is terrific. Fingers crossed.

  8. kitshky - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I still say regardless of the term … Luongo for a $5.3M cap hit in this age of ever escalating contracts would be pretty hard to resist.

    (and it’s not like we don’t all expect the cap to continue to rise after this short term correction…)

  9. edwelsh8 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I’d like to see them pick up Khudobin from the Bruins. Both he and Rask are RFAs and they have Svedberg in Providence already signed to an inexpensive contract. This way, they can give Rask his money and not worry about how much Khudobin wants.

    Then the Flyers could allow Mason and Khudobin to split starts and battle for the #1 job.

    • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      I like this idea too. Khudobin or Hiller would be best…..then Emery…than Luongo.

    • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      Khudobin is a UFA, he’s leaving especially if they want to have any chance of keeping Horton.

  10. imleftcoast - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Gillis is totally on the ropes. I don’t see how that would not work.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      I agree. Gillis has zero leverage. He waited way too long. If the Flyers were to trade for Luongo they would probably give up nothing of value and maybe they’d even get Vancouver to pick up some of the cap hit. Or Holmgren could just wait it out and see if they buy him out. I’d much rather do it that way so they can get him on a shorter deal.

  11. tdrusher225 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    They need a really good goalie coach above all else. That’s how Mike Smith and Ilya Bryzgalov had success in Phoenix and would lead to much better development and play no matter who they sign.

    • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Agreed! I do NOT like Jeff Reese at all. He just seems utterly clueless.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like he’s going anywhere. I think he has some really serious blackmail on Ed Snider or something.

      • narfmoo12 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        Well Mason sure picked it up after the trade. And I’m pretty sure that they got everything possible out of Leighton and Boucher.

      • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        I don’t view 7 games (Mason) as a valid sample size….so the jury’s still out with Mason.

        True re: Leighton as we got more from him than I ever thought possible.

        Boosh has spent several stints with the club…and I’m pretty sure he came for his first stint before Reese came.

        So, that’s an up-and-down record for Reese as far as I’m concerned.

        Back when this whole franchise GT talk started, I wanted Vokoun over Bryz.

        Now, granted Vokoun hasn’t cracked out to be everything I hoped he’d be after he left Florida…but he certainly came MUCH cheaper – and with shorter contract lengths – than Bryz did. I’m thinking if we’d gotten Vokoun as I originally wanted, we would’ve a) spent less b) not be dealing with a long-term contract that required buying out and c) would’ve gotten slightly better GT performance (Vokoun – .917 with WSH and .919 w/ PITT (2.51 and 2.45 respectively) vs Bryz – .909 and .900 (2.48 and 2.79)

      • narfmoo12 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        I completely agree about Vokoun. And to admit I was wrong, I was curious why they didn’t go after Turco, but apparently he was done.

  12. tcclark - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Here’s my list. Brian Boucher for a 5th time, Goldberg from the Mighty Ducks, the chick that was actually good in the Mighty Ducks, Lebron James, and the Pope (he would come cheap because of that vow of poverty, plus who would dare hit the Pope with a puck). Any one of those would be fine by me.

    • jaredphi - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM


  13. ray2013 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    With Luongo at $5.33 million and Miller at $6.5 million, there really isn’t the cap space to add them. It would be nice to think you could get Bobrovsky for less than $4.1 million, but not after winning the Vezina (and not with the KHL making a big offer). With Smith looking for a big payday, in today’s NHL, $4.1 million is barely starter’s money. And after going 19 – 1 last season, Emery is going to command more than that as well. There was a suggestion to trade for Hiller, but he has a cap hit of $4.5 million which would put them over the cap. Beyond that, he’s going into the last year of his contract. Do the Flyers really want to add another contract they’ll have to negotiate next year?

    Khudobin is a UFA. Don’t know what the market is for him. But from a financial perspective, the Flyers would be better off playing Mason next season as their starter, with some cheap veteran/green rookie as their back-up. It’s not a dream scenario, but it doesn’t seem like they understand cap management at all.

    Trying to add a pricey veteran while having to also re-negotiate next season with Giroux, B. Schenn, and Couturier to new deals why are we talking about them signing veteran free agents at all? In this light, the Streit deal makes even less sense.

    • devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Well they can trade Schenn or Couturier, for the GT and have space.

      • ray2013 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        That’s one way to do it, but I’ve never seen a situation where a team trades its’ way out a cap mess. I really like Couturier, and if the Flyers are silly enough to trade him, I’m sure someone will oblige them.

  14. devilsarethebest - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    And I almost forgot, Hasek is still looking for a job.

  15. jacketsfan7 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    There’s no way in hell bobrovsky would sign in Philadelphia

  16. thedavesiknowiknow - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    One way or another- somebody is going to fleece the Flyers again.

  17. Jay - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Luongo? No, never, never, never. He sucks and he chokes in the playoffs. Way overrated. He’s not a Flyer. No to Bobrovsky too. Only bring Tim Thomas.

    Emery maybe…or Tim Thomas if he decides to come back.

    Besides that, they should get Bobby Ryan plus another defensemen.

    One thing that should be noted, that everyone freaking ignores, is that the Flyers have great defensemen already, they were injured or they didn’t like playing for the self centered Bryzgalov.

    I constantly read ignoramuses dissing Meszaros, and I have to say that you must be stupid or never watch hockey. He’s a great defenseman. Before he was injured, he used to lead the damn team in plus minus even when Pronger was on the team! You don’t get that way if you aren’t good. He needs to be healthy is all there is to that. Mes is one of those players who didn’t get along with Bryz. After one particularly soft goal, I remember seeing him rolling his eyes at Bryz. Bryz is pretty hard to get along with I think.

    With a healthy Mes and Grossman, Timonen and Streit, Coburn and Schenn, you have pretty decent defense. Timonen makes a lot of mistakes to be honest. But If they can stay injury free all year, there’s no limit to what they can achieve. But I would like to see the Flyers trade Coburn though. He makes a lot of turnovers. But at least not as much as the turnover machine Matt Carle used to make.

  18. redridershoottheireyeout - Jun 26, 2013 at 4:51 AM

    someone would be smart to take a long look at David Leggio from the Sabres/Rochester Americans, he’s close to being ready for the NHL

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