According to Larry Brooks, the NHL has amnesty buyouts on the table for the CBA negotiations between them and the NHLPA. That means NHL teams can buyout one contract that wouldn’t have a cap hit. Many Flyers fans have taken to Twitter to tweet their opinions about how the Flyers should buyout Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov if this happens.
Bryzgalov would be paid $6.5 million this season and have a cap hit of $5.6 million. Bryz finished the 2011-12 NHL Regular Season with a record of 33-16-7, six shutouts, a save percentage of .909, and a goals against average of 2.48, respectable numbers for an NHL goaltender. Those stats aren't quite worth the $5.6 million cap hit that goes along with it though.
Everyone knew Bryzgalov was overpaid from when the deal was signed though, Holmgren needed to make the necessary deal to bring a competent goalie to Philadelphia and he was the best goalie in a long time. Most wins in a season since 2002-2003, most shutouts since 2002-2003, second best save percantage by a goalie with at least 41 games since 2008-2009, and best goals against average since 2002-2003. Bryz also took home two NHL Player of the Week Awards and one NHL Player of the Month Award.
Bryzgalov performed quite well for a first season in a new city, new system, a blood thirsty fanbase, a crippled and Pronger less defense, and the distractions of HBO. After a rough Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Pittsburgh, Bryz was arguably one of the few bright sports in the Semifinals against New Jersey minus a puck handling gaffe in the last game of the Flyers' season.
Give Bryz another chance this season and if he fails badly Flyers should cut him lose, pending there's amnesty buyouts in the new CBA and find another goalie next offseason.
Dustin Leed sums up the number one reason why Bryzgalov shouldn't be bought out this season in this tweet:
Oh, so you think the #Flyers would potentially buy out Ilya Bryzgalov if there's an amnesty clause.. And leave Michael Leighton the starter?— Dustin Leed (@D_LEED) November 8, 2012