Anyone who watched the Flyers when Bob was playing behind Ilya Bryzgalov knows that he simply wasn’t a good fit as Bryz’s backup.
It was an untenable situation for him, bad for his development and anything but ideal for the Flyers.
In 2011-12, as Bryz’s backup, Bobrovsky had a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. He was rather unhappy here, though he worked his tail off and never complained.
For his own good, Bobrovsky, now 24, had to be moved so he could grow into a No. 1 and his destination was Columbus, who acquired him in exchange for three draft picks.
Bobrovsky’s emergence led to Steve Mason’s exile in Columbus and his eventual trade to the Flyers.
Essentially, the Flyers and Blue Jackets exchanged backup goalies and the way I see it, both teams are the better for it and both have already benefited.
Right now, Flyers fans seem rather pumped over Mason and what he might do for this club this coming fall. Truthfully, Mason has a much better chance to make an impact here – even if Bryz remains – than Bobrovsky would have.
My head hurts. That logic essentially goes like this: Bob’s growth was stunted playing behind Bryz (agreed), but trading him to Columbus and getting Columbus’ backup goaltender, Mason, who has an even longer history of not having success in the league, was the right move because now Bryz will likely be gone and Mason can blossom by becoming the number one guy, a role in which he failed miserably before, but perhaps he, too, will one day have as good of a season as Bob just had.
Fuck. You’d think Panaccio and Paul Holmgren get their paychecks from the same place or something. And you’d think I write run-on sentences.
I truly don’t understand the people who aren’t enraged by the Flyers trading away a homegrown Vezina winner. Yes, he needed to play more and wouldn’t have had the same sort of success this year in Philly. But the Flyers knew about his ability–it was obvious to anyone watching that he had a top-notch skill set. It pisses me off even more to learn that Peter Laviolette knew that:
“I didn’t know a lot about Sergei before we acquired him,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards told the Columbus Dispatch. “But after the trade was out at the draft, [Flyers coach] Peter Laviolette tapped me on the shoulder and wanted to talk.
“He just went on about Sergei Bobrovsky: ‘You’re going to love this guy. He competes. He works. He’ll help drive your team. He’s a great kid.’ That got me excited, and he was absolutely right on all of it.”
And it’s not like Bryz was a world-beater his first year here– again, it was obvious that he could be a total bust, and there’s no doubt that the Flyers knew CBA negotiations could eventually yield an amnesty clause or two. Why not keep Bob around for another year? This isn’t charity, the Flyers had no obligation to do Bob a favor, and judging by the fact that they re-signed BRIAN BOUCHER as a backup, there weren’t any better options to play behind Bryz (which can’t possibly be a safe place if you’re not wearing a cup and a mask). But no, they traded Bob, drafted a guy, Anthony Stolarz, who will maybe – but probably not – pan out, and then traded for Bob’s backup. HOW IS ANY OF THIS ACCEPTABLE? It’s the GM’s (and coach’s and that awful goalie coach’s) job to recognize what they have. Saying “no one knew Bobrovsky would be that good” is simply making an excuse for the team. IT’S THEIR JOB TO KNOW THOSE SORT OF THINGS, and when they swing and a miss – wildly – they’re at fault. There’s no way around that.