Video also posted last year, from reader Shaun
It’s tough to decide which is more galling – that the Flyers will still be paying Ilya Bryzgalov in 2027 or that, the way things look now, Paul Holmgren will still be the general manager in 2027.
Really. If you can call a news conference to admit a mistake that cost your company $24 million and wasted two NHL seasons, then return to your office without anyone calling security, nothing else is far-fetched.
Holmgren is inarguably a good man and a knowledgeable hockey guy. But he is on a losing streak that would cost most sports executives their jobs. Tuesday’s buyout of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is only the latest botch job.
While Holmgren does need a goaltender, he has other problems that rule out Luongo. “I don’t see how that would work,” he said of the chances of acquiring Luongo in a trade.
Holmgren created $12.17-million in salary cap space over the next two seasons with the Bryzgalov and Daniel Brière buyouts but he already needs/has used some of that in signing defenceman Mark Streit, while centre Claude Giroux will be a restricted free agent at the end of next season.
Better Holmgren waits to see if Luongo becomes available as a free agent after a buyout. Or he could chase pending free agents Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes or Ray Emery of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Holmgren fell on that sword for Snider yesterday, owning up to the $39.27 million mistake after Bryzgalov’s agent said last week the Flyers were essentially bidding against themselves in 2011.
Holmgren said it didn’t make sense to look back on how those negotiations were handled.
“What’s the sense of looking back?” Holmgren asked. “Today, we look forward. I’m not going to look back. I admit this was a costly move. But we’ve got to move forward.”
In the end, Bryz is a capable NHL goalie to whom the Flyers never should have given a massive nine year contract to in the first place. No goalie deserves that kind of money, let alone Bryzgalov, who has been at best a slightly above-average NHL goalie throughout his career.
He’s probably happy he’s leaving, both given the hell he’s lived here and the windfall he’ll receive from the Flyers until he’s FORTY SEVEN YEARS OLD. We’ll breathe a sigh of relief and turn the page, and hope Holmgren knows what he’s doing next.
Charlie O’Connor, The Hockey Guys (he goes on to say that the Flyers are good at gathering and evaluating talent, which is a ridiculous statement about a team that jettisoned a Vezina winner in favor an overpaid guy who was never that good in the first place):
The consensus best stopper on the market, Bryzgalov entered Philadelphia as presumptive goalie savior, here to finally bring long-term stability to the position. The signing will forever be linked to the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades that occurred the same day, but Bryzgalov was coming to Philadelphia regardless, the product of a powerful man frustrated with a problem that, ironically, was finally showing signs of solving itself.
Almost two years to the day, that savior would leave in disgrace, product of a buyout that had come to be seen as an inevitability.
He’s right: It is. It always has been since around 1987. But Snider, of all people, should know how these things turn out. Giving a goalie a 9-year contract in Philadelphia is like hiring Lindsay Lohan to star in your movie and then putting her trailer next to a liquor store – at some point, the wagon’s careening off the trail and the star’s out of the picture.
He was set up to fail, and fail he did. His coach hated him. His teammates didn’t care for him. He feuded with the media. At no point during his tenure with the Flyers did he resemble a goaltender that made you believe he could backstop a Cup champion.
Bryzgalov had become a locker-room distraction with his odd comments, and he had a sometimes-contentious relationship with coach Peter Laviolette, sources said. (As for reports of him sleeping during a team meeting this year, that did not happen, said multiple sources.)
Yup. It happened. Someone finally made Mr. Milbury look semi-smart.