I'm highly expecting the Flyers to draft with defense in mind next week. With Streit on the ice it provides a veteran who can mentor the younger generation. If Holmgren doesn't make any typical moronic moves in the next few seasons you will have a defense that is young and hopefully developing well, with a developed offensive unit that will be in its prime (Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds). Assuming Bryz is still in town, he is more than capable of becoming the goalie we all hoped he could be behind a team like this. Let's just pray that Darnell Nurse or Rasmus Ristolainen will still be around at the 11-spot on Saturday. Streit will do for the time being, but the Flyers need to start developing their own D talent instead of looking for band-aids in the form a 35 year-old, overpayed guy with no loyalty to Philly.
The other big story this June was Holmgren's (expected) announcement that the team is going to buy Danny Briere out of his contract. This will free up a much needed $6.5 million in cap space for the team. Buying out Briere essentially had to happen, given the signing of Streit and his slumping production. Even so, I'm going to miss Danny a lot. During his time in Philly he was always one of the most fun players to watch with the puck, always seeming to create offense out of nothing. Always a class act too, Briere never complained or acted negatively in the media spotlight, even when they were criticizing his defensive abilities. I feel like I'm writing a eulogy here, but sadly we will probably see Briere a lot these coming years, most likely in a Capitals or Devils jersey, given the roots he's put down in South Jersey. Not gonna be fun to see him tearing it up for another team, but either way we here at the BSB wish you all the luck in the world, Danny. (because he totally will read this)
Last but not least there was today's move, a move that did not actually happen. LA Kings backup goalie, Jonathan Bernier, was traded to the Maple Leafs today for F Matt Frattin, humorously-named G Ben Scrivens and a 2nd round pick this year. Rumor has it that Holmgren made an offer to acquire him including Matt Read, who becomes a UFA next year.
I know that I may have the unpopular opinion amongst fans here, but there is no reason to bring on another goalie. Bryz may not perform well under media scrutiny, but that's the kind of media we have in Philadelphia. A 'what have you done for me lately?' mentality. Well let me remind everyone what Bryz has done for us lately. He manned up in the beginning of this season after our 2 backups got hurt, played nearly every single game until Mason go to town and truthfully was responsible for the team winning a handful of games early on in the season. We can't keep scapegoating the goalie just to blame somebody. Even Quick or Crawford wouldn't perform to their potential when behind last year's defense.
Bryz needs to be given time to mesh with the young core of defenders that are soon-to-be in Philly (or Glen Falls). Given a few years, like I said earlier, when our offense is hitting their prime and the young defensemen have developed into solid starters I feel that Bryz's talent (which is there) can truly emerge. Sure the Flyers could go for the quick fix and bring in a new goalie, but who will want to keep coming to Philadelphia when we start this system of ditching our players after a few years for not even underperforming, but failing to live up to lofty expectations.
Mark my words, if Bryzgalov goes to a small market team like Bobrovsky did, he will excel. Getting out of Philly and into a market where the fans are more forgiving (or non-existent like Columbus) will put any goalie at ease and allow them to shine. Bryz has the talent to do this, so why not give him a little more time in Philadelphia? Yes, his cap hit means the Flyers are not free to make many other moves, but that's a good thing. I don't really want Paul Holmgren making moves at this point. Homer starts making moves and the next thing you know Voracek is gone.
That's my rant. I'm just suggesting the radical idea that we keep a goaltender for longer than 2 years. Couldn't hurt. If we acquired Bernier today he would have just been gone in 2015 anyway. I want to believe that Bryz can be long term answer, I really do. I'll admit though he needs to stop chirping to the media and just play hockey. We in return need to see the positives in this team. The Bernier move seemed like someone hit the panic switch. No need to panic. This is not a bad team and they will be competitive this season. Don't break up the young nucleus and focus on developing a new crop of players. Ones that will be loyal to the orange and black. Hopefully I'll look back favorably on this article some day.
By: Ben Lebo
Follow us on Twitter: @BroadStBeat