This season has been one to forget for the Philadelphia Flyers. Currently three games under .500 and sitting in twelfth place in the east, seven points out of a playoff spot, it’s all but certain this year will go down as a disappointment for the Flyers. Injuries to key players have played a factor along with inconsistent goaltending have highlighted much of the season for the Broad Street Bullies. Which leads to the conversation that this off season could be an interesting and busy one for GM Paul Holmgren. Here’s the latest out of the City of Brotherly Love.
- According to Tim Panaccio from CSNPhilly.com, Danny Briere is likely to be bought out by the Flyers this summer as one of their two amnesty buyout options. Briere has two-years remaining on his deal that carries an annual salary of $6.5 million dollar cap hit, which is the highest on the Flyers roster. Briere signed as a free-agent in 2007 for a deal worth $52 million over 8-years and with the salary cap set to come down next season to $64.3 million from $70.2 million, the buyout will only cost the Flyers $3.3 million and will go a long way in ensuring they are under the cap ceiling. Currently sidelined with a concussion, Briere could return to the Flyers lineup this weekend according to Panaccio who states Briere has been “symptom free” for the past four days. The former first round pick has struggled this season with just 5 goals and 8 assists in 26 games. He’s been out with the concussion since March 23rd.The 35-year old wants to remain in Phildaelphia but admits to Panaccio that it is out of his control.
“It’s reality. There’s no doubt about it. But at the same time, those are things I can’t control at this moment. All I can control is for me to come back into the lineup and play as good as I can, to show them. Other than that, I can’t worry about injuries or what they are going to decide to do. That’s out of my control at this point.”
- Ilya Bryzgalov is back to making headlines with the media again. Mere days after telling local reporters that he didn’t care about whether he could be a buyout candidate this summer, the outspoken netminder lashed into the media when asked if he had fallen asleep during a team meeting, courtesy of TSN.ca.
“That’s embarrassing,” the 32-year-old responded. “You have to prove your sources. You became (unprofessional) journalists. You have to be better. Step up guys. Prove your information. Find reliable sources.”
Nothing like creating more controversy for a team that has already fallen under the scrutiny of the Philadelphia media. But considering the source in Bryzgalov, it’s not surprising.
- Finally, with the train wreck of a season for the Flyers, one has to wonder about the future of head coach Peter Laviolette and whether or not he’ll be brought back next season. Back on March 15 Holmgren went on the record to state that he was not interested in making a coaching change. That was when the Flyers were five points out of a playoff spot and playing decent hockey. They’ve lost three straight after last night’s game at home to the Ottawa Senators and with drastic changes looming with Briere and potentially Bryzgalov’s buyouts, a fresh voice from the bench might be in order in Philly. This is pure speculation on my part and have not heard anything of the sorts to this point. The Flyers did sign Laviolette to a two-year extension last August so it would be a bold move to make if Holmgren were to go ahead with it.