One of the Philadelphia Flyers less glorious moves so far this spring was the acquisition veteran goaltender Steve Mason. Oddly enough, the move became even more of a factor after the Flyers elected to buy out the rest of Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract this offseason. Despite being linked to players such as Tim Thomas, Jonathan Bernier, Roberto Luongo, among others, Philadelphia ultimately re-signed Ray Emery who played for the club in 2009-10.
Now, the Flyers will hope that one of the two shows well enough to be their No. 1 starter, or, at the very least, can combine to form a suitable situation where the two can split time effectively.
But what happens if neither player pans out? Do the Flyers have a contingency plan at netminder?
At this time Tim Thomas remains to be an option, though some believe he will find a team prior to the start of training camps in September. The rest of the free agent list includes the likes of highly experienced vets like Johan Hedberg, Jose Theodore and Mathieu Garon, twenty-somethings whose original teams have gone in another direction (Jeff Frazee, Leland Irving), and the buyouts (toss Rick DiPietro in with Bryzgalov there).
Perhaps more intriguing are the trade possibilities, should the Flyers’ need in net persist. There has been an increase of chatter surrounding the market for Ryan Miller, though in order to fit Miller into the cap, Philly would need some other scenarios to unfold.Other situations on which we’ll be keeping an eye for trade rumors involve the clubs that have two (or more) starting-caliber players in net: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Toronto to name three.
Over the past few months the Flyers have been mentioned as a rumored destination for just about every trade-worthy goaltender. Yet there are reports that suggest they’ve been unwilling to part with any of their high-level skater prospects. That could change in a hurry if the situation in net becomes even more dire.