Can the Flyers afford Ilya Bryzgalov?

Cam Charron
June 13 2011 07:24AM

 

 

(Cam Charron is a our newest addition to the Nations Network. He will pop in now and then and add his thoughts on more general NHL matters from time to time.)

Lost in all the fuss this week over the Stanley Cup Finals is the implications of the Ilya Bryzgalov trade to the Philadelphia Flyers. Phoenix, of course, doesn't have the money to sign Bryzgalov to what are reportedly astronomical contract demands, and the rumour goes that Bryzgalov wants to be paid like a top player, and not necessarily like a top goalie.

Only Carey Price and Cam Ward made more even strength saves than Ilya Bryzgalov. He's one of the underrated goaltenders in the league and was a big reason why Phoenix made the playoffs two consecutive years. His failings in this year's postseason are a major factor in why his Coyotes failed to win a single game, and its interesting that the Flyers would go after Bryzgalov considering his sub-.900 save percentage at EV in the playoffs.

But more importantly, is it really beneficial for teams to spend a lot of their bank in goal? I think a lot of proponents for the superstar goalie may mention that Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas, both All-Stars and Olympians, are in a terrific Stanley Cup Finals battle, but, in reality, the two goalies are 8th and 10th on the list of goalies with the highest cap numbers this season. The number is skewed, as the best goaltenders aren't the highest paid goaltenders. A few of the goalies high on that list have been signed to what I can best describe as "reputation" or "reward" contracts to guys who were lucky enough to play behind Stanley Cup-winning teams.

Luongo and Thomas are not just the 8th and 10th highest-paid goalies in the game, but are also the highest paid goaltenders on teams to have won a playoff series this season. You'd be hard-pressed to find a tangible benefit to overpaying for a goaltender in the salary cap era. Since the lockout, the goaltender for the winning Stanley Cup team has posted a save percentage of .916, which was the same posting this season as Jose Theodore, Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Miller, Niklas Backstrom, and, hey, Brian Boucher of the Flyers, and a point about Sergei Bobrovsky.

I've been using a formula for the past year to calculate the value of a goaltender which is simply weighting his save percentage with his minutes played. To get the same value as Bobrovsky last season of approximately $178,000 per win (8th among starting goalies), Bryzgalov would have to be paid at $2,675,000, which is not likely.

So while the Flyers have supposedly had a question mark in goal since Ron Hextall, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that they can't win with what they have. Bobrovsky proved himself this season to be capable if anything, even if his playoff record doesn't speak for that. There's no reason he can't be this team's goalie going forward, particularly since his save percentage was just two points lower than Bryzgalov's.

Already on the hook for just under $59M so far for the 2011/12 season, the Flyers would have to give up a lot for what Bryzgalov is asking. With the only moveable contracts on the roster as Claude Giroux, Kris Versteeg and Braydon Coburn, the Flyers are probably better off cutting their losses, letting Bryzgalov walk, and not pulling him whenever he manages to get into trouble.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#51 prgmoose
June 14 2011, 04:10AM
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Agree Hartnell would look good in oil silks. I wouldn't be opposed to bringing in Briere if Horcoff was going the other way. Gives philly cap space and us an improvement at the number 1 centre spot. It could be exciting Hall/Briere/Eberle and Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky. I realize it doesn't help our need for more size in our top 6.

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#52 Aitch
June 14 2011, 06:21AM
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I think this article was misplaced. Despite being an interesting read, I can't find a single reference to the Oilers.

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#53 Archaeologuy
June 14 2011, 08:05AM
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Aitch wrote:

I think this article was misplaced. Despite being an interesting read, I can't find a single reference to the Oilers.

From the top of the Article:

(Cam Charron is a our newest addition to the Nations Network. He will pop in now and then and add his thoughts on more general NHL matters from time to time.)

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#54 RossCreekNation
June 14 2011, 09:53AM
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Colin wrote:

Throw in the fact the cap is expected to go up by almost 5Million this season as well to a high of 63.5Million(Some say it has a chance of going higher) and you easily have enough space to sign a Bryz for 6 or less and not have to move Carter. Having a Richards, Carter 1/2 punch at center is essentiall to succes you are seeing it with a lot of teams, depth at the center position is key.

I did factor that in. Remember: Claude Giroux's raise kicks in next year too (which more or less is the amount the cap goes up). And JVR will have a new deal the year after.

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#55 TigerUnderGlass
June 14 2011, 11:20AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I did factor that in. Remember: Claude Giroux's raise kicks in next year too (which more or less is the amount the cap goes up). And JVR will have a new deal the year after.

I actually see JVR as a decent target because he will need a new deal soon. I don't see where he fits with them if he plays well enough next year to earn a decent raise.

If we could manage to pick him up before he breaks out he could be had for a reasonable offer.

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#56 RossCreekNation
June 14 2011, 12:12PM
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@TigerUnderGlass

He had a pretty good playoffs. I don't think they're giving him up, and I certainly don't think you're getting him without sending a Cory Schnieder or a Jonathan Bernier in return.

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#57 rindog
June 14 2011, 02:18PM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

~No doubt, who wants a 30 - 45 goal scorer for 5.5 long term~

Carter is under contract until the end of 21/22 season. He makes $5.3 million in each of the next 10 years.

He has had one 84 point season and has 61 and 66 point seasons the last 2 years.

I repeat...

NO THANKS!!!

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#58 rindog
June 14 2011, 02:19PM
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OilFan wrote:

I'll fix it for you ~ Have you seen the $$$ and length of Carter's contract? ~

Since you can't be serious ? A top line center 4th overall in goals over the last four seasons ?

Read my previous post (#47)

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#59 TigerUnderGlass
June 14 2011, 04:38PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

He had a pretty good playoffs. I don't think they're giving him up, and I certainly don't think you're getting him without sending a Cory Schnieder or a Jonathan Bernier in return.

He did. I'm not saying he's going to be had for nothing, but he could be had for less than after he breaks out.(Obviously I am assuming a breakout here)

From Philly's side there are two problematic possibilities if they keep him - he breaks out and they can't afford him, or he doesn't improve and his value drops.

Both possibilities suggest that now, while his future value is unpredictable, could be a good time to move him because waiting will see him undervalues either way.

I'm sure they have a different train of thought, but it's worth asking isn't it? I'd rather have Mike Richards, but if I was Philly he is the very last player I would move.

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#60 TigerUnderGlass
June 14 2011, 05:01PM
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rindog wrote:

Carter is under contract until the end of 21/22 season. He makes $5.3 million in each of the next 10 years.

He has had one 84 point season and has 61 and 66 point seasons the last 2 years.

I repeat...

NO THANKS!!!

Carter has played significantly less minutes the past 2 years than he played in 08-09. His scoring rate has actually been more consistent than most think. If you adjust his points to the same time on ice he had during his 84 point season he was on pace for 77.

Depth is not necessarily good for a players numbers and I would have to think that his numbers would improve given the increased opportunities ro score he would have here.

I'd still rather have Richards, but I would take Carter depending on the cost in trade.

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#61 michael
June 14 2011, 05:14PM
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Cap? The NHL is a gate driven league and the cap is tied to league wide revenues. Including the national TV contracts in both the US and Canada. Good news. Better news is that the Winnipeg Jets are now back and the gate revenues will increase. 6/10 teams in terms of generating revenue are Canadian.Add Winnipeg and it will be 7/10. My point is that that teams like the Flyers rely on us poor scmucks to subsidize thier spending stupidity by continuing to fill the arenas across Canada each and every game. The cap has gone up every season since the lockout. From 45 million to 61? next year. Thats more than a 33% increase in the cap in 6 years? 5% raise a year is not a bad deal for the players. How many teams were spending 60 million dollars a year before the lockout? 10? Now we probably have half the league and the other half forced to spend atleast 45 million a year. The players and thier agents should be estatic. If I am them I would renew the CBA as soon as I can. The scary thought is how much the cap is going to rise when Bettman and company decide to move Pheonix to Quebec City and give Jim I got all the Balls-illy a franchise for southern Ontario.Line up the Billionaires because this league no longer can afford to have owners with only a few hundred million in thier pockets. Cap? What Cap?

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#62 JustAName
June 15 2011, 09:46AM
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Michael you may want to get a little more informed before making comments such as "My point is that that teams like the Flyers rely on us poor scmucks to subsidize thier spending stupidity by continuing to fill the arenas across Canada each and every game."

You do know that the Flyers are the 4th highest revenue team in the NHL right? You do know that the Flyers revenue is 40% higher than the Oilers right? You do know that the Flyers are 3rd overall for attendance right?

Don't paint all US teams with the same broad paint brush. There are many successful American teams.

Cheers

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