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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#1 Archaeologuy
June 13 2011, 08:10AM
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@DoubleJ

20 goals a game! We need this guy!

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#2 The Goat - Team FIST
June 13 2011, 07:29AM
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Sounds like Bryzgalov might just FIST the Flyers out of a quality guy they do not want to move.

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#3 Archaeologuy
June 13 2011, 12:01PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Khabibulin was terrible all year long. He played in front of the same bad team as Dubnyk and performed significantly worse. Successfully defending him is impossible.

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#4 David S
June 13 2011, 12:07PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Khabibulin was terrible all year long. He played in front of the same bad team as Dubnyk and performed significantly worse. Successfully defending him is impossible.

^ This.

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#5 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 13 2011, 12:29PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

He'd be playing behind a top 3 hockey club, without all the baggage and castoffs from around the league that are the constant on a deadlast place hockey club multiple yrs running. Yeah, it was ALL Khabibulins fault last year, if that stiff Dubnyk would've played another 20 games last year we would've easily finished 29th, right? Yeah, goaltending was the problem, that's rich alright like you mentioned.

Always impressed with your defense of Bulin.

His season was the equivalant of Horcoff putting up 3 goals and 12 points over 82 games.

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#6 pelhem grenville
June 13 2011, 08:31AM
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...anyone know when our goalie is going to jail?

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#7 Quicksilver ballet
June 13 2011, 11:54AM
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@David S

He'd be playing behind a top 3 hockey club, without all the baggage and castoffs from around the league that are the constant on a deadlast place hockey club multiple yrs running. Yeah, it was ALL Khabibulins fault last year, if that stiff Dubnyk would've played another 20 games last year we would've easily finished 29th, right? Yeah, goaltending was the problem, that's rich alright like you mentioned.

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#8 Dman09
June 13 2011, 03:27PM
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@Randy

Philly is going down the same path as the oilers. Went to the cup finals and then thought they were a great team. They will sign a russian tender to a stupid contract, Pronger will bang some bar maid and then ask to be traded, then the team will fall to the bottom of the league.

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#9 Truth
June 13 2011, 08:15AM
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DoubleJ wrote:

If there is one guy the Oilers should try and get it's Hartnel. He's the leader this team needs. He can play in all situations. Third line to the first line. He can score 20+ goals a game.

I would love him on this team.

20+ goals a game? The Oil should trade 1st overall for that guy.

In all seriousness, The Flyers with an actual goaltender would be something to watch, and Byrzgalov's agent knows it.

Somebody will have to be shipped out, I too hope for Hartnell coming to the Oilers

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#10 Randy
June 13 2011, 10:12AM
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About the last thing the Flyers need is a 6.5 million dollar goaltender. They are a good enough team to get by with good goaltending, they don't need great goaltending and they certainly don't need a long term contract for big money which is what Winter will be looking for.

Just make a deal for Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier and go win a cup for crying out loud.

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#11 Woodguy
June 13 2011, 10:13AM
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With the only moveable contracts on the roster as Claude Giroux, Kris Versteeg and Braydon Coburn, the Flyers

You missed 6 players who have moveable contracts.

Jeff Carter's NTC doesn't kick in until 2012.

Mike Richards' NMC kicks in July 1, 2012.

You also missed 3 Dmen

None of Pronger (4.9M), Meszaros (4M) and Carle (3.4) have NMC or NTC.

That's 22.3M of contracts you missed.

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#12 David S
June 13 2011, 11:34AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Philadelphia is a tough market to play in. Bryzgalov would turn into a Roman Cechmanek 2 in that first yr in Philly. Khabibulin would be mentally tough enough to not let it get to him, perhaps even Roloson. These two vets would be cheaper and could probably get it done within the next two yrs.

Khabibulin?

Ahhhh-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh man, that's rich.

Khabibulin.

*Wipes tears from eyes*

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#13 @Oilanderp
June 13 2011, 11:55AM
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Bob Stauffer interviewed Rich Winter (Bryzgalov's agent) HERE on Friday, June 10, 2011. Fast forward to when there's about 12 minutes 30 seconds left in hour one. Listening to Winter talk, it sounds like you may be right in suggesting the Flyers walk away, Cam.

In the same interview, Winter talks of DIGR, or Defense Independent Goalie Ratings. It is an interesting idea developed by Michael Schuckers HERE .

If you can get past the dryness of a mathematician giving a public speech it's worth a watch.

Edit: The actual paper outlining in full frontal mathematics the DIGR idea is HERE . Warning: your eyeballs might explode if you read this and don't like math. On page 5 though there is an interesting chart listing the top 40 rated goalies in this system.

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#14 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
June 13 2011, 12:27PM
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rindog wrote:

Have you seen the $$$ and length of Carter's contract?

NO THANKS!!!!

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

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#15 Kent Wilson
June 13 2011, 07:29AM
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Ive 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.

I am slightly confused about this. You say the formula weights save percentage and minutes played, but then express the results in dollars per win.

Anyways, I agree with you. I used a slightly different perspective at the score, but came to the same conclusion.

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#16 mayorpoop
June 13 2011, 08:03AM
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whatever happens with brygalov i'm certain philly will F up their goaltending anyways.

he was very good on an average team he "could" be great on a very good team. you have to pay for the chance to get greatness.

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#17 DoubleJ
June 13 2011, 08:05AM
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If there is one guy the Oilers should try and get it's Hartnel. He's the leader this team needs. He can play in all situations. Third line to the first line. He can score 20+ goals a game.

I would love him on this team.

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#18 ItsTheBGB
June 13 2011, 08:11AM
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Jeff Carter for a 7th

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#19 Archaeologuy
June 13 2011, 08:41AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

...anyone know when our goalie is going to jail?

Dare to dream PG. Dare to dream.

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#20 pelhem grenville
June 13 2011, 08:57AM
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...i'm not dreaming about getting Bryz...he wants waaay too much and he's only worth that much to Philly...they get him? they win the Cup sooner rather than later...

...back to my original point though Arch ...you hear anything about when our goalie takes care of his legal matters???

just need something to cheer me up today

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#21 Colin
June 13 2011, 09:15AM
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Someone said the guy wanted a max contract, I don't think there is a GM out there dumb enough to give it to him. I think even if he went on the open market he would get max 6 million, I think most GMs have realized you can have an elite goalie and win, he just can't have a cap hit of more than 6 million.

I thinky Bryz goes to open market as well, I don't see him signing a contract with the flyers unless he feels he has exactly what he wants and at that point the flyers should fire their GM.

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But more importantly, is it really beneficial for teams to spend a lot of their bank in goal?

While there is some merit to this statement, the Flyers have been going the opposite route and getting shafted.

I don't think that Bobvrosky is a bad goalie, but he doesn't have what it takes at the moment.

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Colin wrote:

Someone said the guy wanted a max contract, I don't think there is a GM out there dumb enough to give it to him. I think even if he went on the open market he would get max 6 million, I think most GMs have realized you can have an elite goalie and win, he just can't have a cap hit of more than 6 million.

I thinky Bryz goes to open market as well, I don't see him signing a contract with the flyers unless he feels he has exactly what he wants and at that point the flyers should fire their GM.

I think Bryz is going to find that while he may want the open market it isn't going to be pretty. All the teams looking for a starter don't exactly have a lot of money to give him. He might end up going the Nabokov route. Potentially the best goalie on the market, but just wants too much.

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#25 Quicksilver ballet
June 13 2011, 09:26AM
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Philadelphia is a tough market to play in. Bryzgalov would turn into a Roman Cechmanek 2 in that first yr in Philly. Khabibulin would be mentally tough enough to not let it get to him, perhaps even Roloson. These two vets would be cheaper and could probably get it done within the next two yrs.

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#26 pelhem grenville
June 13 2011, 09:33AM
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...Russian = greedy

Bryz' agent Rich Winters wants the other Russian Ilyas' money (as a skater) to go to his (goalie) client...remember how much money Winter got his goalie client The Dominator?

Philly salary dumping = signing Bryz

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#27 pelhem grenville
June 13 2011, 09:37AM
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@Q...it was always interesting to watch 'ol Roman play goal...always an adventure

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#28 Dan the Man
June 13 2011, 10:15AM
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I'd love to see the Oil go after Coburn. Good, young, tough D with size.

Not too sure what happened to his offence though, it's been steadily decreasing every year.

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#29 brodie
June 13 2011, 10:20AM
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UFA Ville Leino should be of interest to the Oilers if Philly signs Bryzgalov. He was trained in the Red Wings system and has developed nicely with the Flyers.

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
June 13 2011, 10:47AM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

@Q...it was always interesting to watch 'ol Roman play goal...always an adventure

Both these guys are/were a little on the fragile/emotional side. If they put pen to paper with Bryz, i can see him get run out of Philly inside of two yrs based on public/fan pressure alone.

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#31 misfit
June 13 2011, 10:50AM
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My favorite thing about the Flyers potentially spending big money on a goalie is how many people seem to think that it means they'll be forced to trade one of their franchise players.

We've seen year in and year out that if you need to cut salary, there are ways to do it. Especially if you're a team like Philly who can afford buyouts and sending NHL salaries to the minors. Yet for some reason, whenever it looks like Philly is edging closer to the cap, most people's first reaction is "well, it looks like they're going to have to trade Carter/Richards".

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#32 RossCreekNation
June 13 2011, 11:01AM
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@misfit

Agreed - Philly can move 2 of Hartnell/Versteeg/Carle along with Carcillo and have the cap room necessary to sign Bryzgalov. Laperriere will remain on LTIR & Matt Walker could remain buried. Zherdev & Leino UFA's. That's over $12M right there.

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#33 rindog
June 13 2011, 11:21AM
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ItsTheBGB wrote:

Jeff Carter for a 7th

Have you seen the $$$ and length of Carter's contract?

NO THANKS!!!!

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#34 rindog
June 13 2011, 11:22AM
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I would like to see the Oilers go after Meszaros.

I wonder what it would take to get him?

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#35 RKD
June 13 2011, 11:40AM
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If the Flyers aren't able to sign Ilya do you think they will attempt to pry Kipper from Calgary?

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#37 Quicksilver ballet
June 13 2011, 12:21PM
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Don't agree fellas. You're both on the wacky tabbacky lol.

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#38 andrewmk20
June 13 2011, 12:33PM
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The problem I have with save% and all the stats is that it doesn't measure the quality of saves that are made. Depending on how bad your team is the save percentage can look even better in relation to it. I would say Dubnyk's save percentage is very impressive given the sheer volume of high quality shots the Oilers gave up this season. Not a lot of slow drifters from the point or half boards like goalies get on teams like Detroit, Vancouver, and the elite defensive squads. You cannot tell me that Ilya B is not a better goaltender at this point than Bobrovsky. As long as they don't give in to huge term and say 6+ million I say try to sign him. Stanley cup quality teams don't grow on trees and have an extremely short window to win and they need a solid goaltender while this team can still stay together.

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#39 Word
June 13 2011, 12:35PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Bob Stauffer interviewed Rich Winter (Bryzgalov's agent) HERE on Friday, June 10, 2011. Fast forward to when there's about 12 minutes 30 seconds left in hour one. Listening to Winter talk, it sounds like you may be right in suggesting the Flyers walk away, Cam.

In the same interview, Winter talks of DIGR, or Defense Independent Goalie Ratings. It is an interesting idea developed by Michael Schuckers HERE .

If you can get past the dryness of a mathematician giving a public speech it's worth a watch.

Edit: The actual paper outlining in full frontal mathematics the DIGR idea is HERE . Warning: your eyeballs might explode if you read this and don't like math. On page 5 though there is an interesting chart listing the top 40 rated goalies in this system.

Just like I always knew: Ty Conklin is the second best goalie in the world.

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#40 fuck off
June 13 2011, 12:46PM
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@@Oilanderp

LOLZ that Mike Schuckers does the yankee "mmkay" after every second sentence! I can't take him serious for a minute!

"So our data, mmkay. Which is downloaded from ESPN.com's Comcast, mmkay. We have every shot from the NHL's regular season '09/'10 games; we're taking last year's complete season, mmkay."

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#41 @Oilanderp
June 13 2011, 12:48PM
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@Word

Lol you noticed that huh. According to DIGR, in '09-10 if Ty Conklin had faced the average shot distribution in the league, he would have had the second best save precentage in the league that year. Given his defense, he didn't.

@mxke Hahaha yeah it was annoying, but I think he stops doing it after a while.

Also, in the video he has a slideshow presentation that we can't see. It is HERE .

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#42 fuck off
June 13 2011, 12:55PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Don't agree fellas. You're both on the wacky tabbacky lol.

I think the point with the Oil's last season is that regardless of reKhabi's horrible play or Dubnyk's legit NHL starter's save percentage; it was still an abomination of a team defense that either man had to face. Comparing who would be better else where (on a different team; which is incomparable) has no logical starting point and can not be won or even established.

Plain and simply, Superbowl sucked, Dubby was good and the team was trash. How would they do somewhere else: good luck with your witchcraft, reading that PDF, or (my favorite) listening to Mike Shuckers mmkay every 15 seconds.

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#43 fuck off
June 13 2011, 01:12PM
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@@Oilanderp

Ah, that slide show was much more digestible, mmkay.

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#44 dawgbone
June 13 2011, 02:36PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Philadelphia is a tough market to play in. Bryzgalov would turn into a Roman Cechmanek 2 in that first yr in Philly. Khabibulin would be mentally tough enough to not let it get to him, perhaps even Roloson. These two vets would be cheaper and could probably get it done within the next two yrs.

That's because Khabibulin doesn't give a crap whether he stops the puck or not so he doesn't put any pressure on himself.

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#45 Colin
June 13 2011, 03:16PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Agreed - Philly can move 2 of Hartnell/Versteeg/Carle along with Carcillo and have the cap room necessary to sign Bryzgalov. Laperriere will remain on LTIR & Matt Walker could remain buried. Zherdev & Leino UFA's. That's over $12M right there.

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.

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#46 michael
June 13 2011, 05:21PM
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I would target Philly. They wouldn't have traded for his right if they weren't intent on signing IB. We should be looking at "helping" our good friends in Philly. And by help I mean lets ask Phily for thier first round pick this year and whatever contract they want to get rid of. Except Briers. Who cares who it is. Braydon Colbourn would do nicely thank you very much. Philly cant bury a contract.No cap space. Wait till draft day and put the screws to them.

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#47 michael
June 13 2011, 05:23PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Philly is going down the same path as the oilers. Went to the cup finals and then thought they were a great team. They will sign a russian tender to a stupid contract, Pronger will bang some bar maid and then ask to be traded, then the team will fall to the bottom of the league.

Bar maid?

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#48 OilFan
June 13 2011, 09:27PM
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rindog wrote:

Have you seen the $$$ and length of Carter's contract?

NO THANKS!!!!

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 ?

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#49 striker777
June 13 2011, 10:03PM
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Philly has quite a few decent players, Hartnell being first on my list. I just hope other mangers realize Philly will NOT be negotiating from a position of strength.

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#50 k
June 13 2011, 11:02PM
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'With the only moveable contracts on the roster as Claude Giroux, Kris Versteeg and Braydon Coburn'

for hemsky?

or hemsky+ 31st. gives them 6 mill for their goalie keeps their superstars together and swaps setup men for carter

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