The Philadelphia Flyers recently traded a third round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for the rights to goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. It's the price they paid for a month's worth of exclusive negotiating rights with free agency's top-rated netminder. However, the move has caused both casual fans and analysts to ask how the Flyers could possibly afford him. There's a good reason for that question. According to CapGeek.com, the Flyers cap situation is as follows:
Number of players under contract: 18
Committed to the cap: $58.9 million
Bonuses: $1.7 million
Given that a standard roster usually consists of at least 22 players, the Broad Street squad is a few players short and is very tight against a projected cap of $62-63m next year. And that is before they potentially sign Bryzgalov.
The Russian netminder will likely command a contract that puts his cap hit near the top of the league for goaltenders, which is well-deserved. Bryzgalov has had Even-Strength Save Percentages (ESSV%) of .934, .918, .928, and .931 over the last four seasons. Those rates are fantastic and speak to his talent level between the pipes. "Bryz" also boasted a 21.5 GVT last season, which ranked 10th in the entire NHL. That puts him 15.4 goals (or 2.5 wins) better than Philly's best goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, last season.