While the Flyers remain in the sweepstakes chase for L.A. Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier, the stakes have been raised.
Much higher, it seems.
Sources say the Toronto Maple Leafs have significantly anted up the price to pry Bernier from the Kings and this is yet another reason why the Flyers can’t make a final decision on whether to file a compliance buyout on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Leafs, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild and the New Jersey Devils reportedly are in the bidding, but sources say Toronto might be offering more than others are willing to pay.
“We’re not really talking,” said one Flyers source, which likely means general manager Paul Holmgren can’t match what others are offering Kings GM Dean Lombardi for a guy many feel could have been a No. 1 starter were it not for how well Jonathan Quick has performed.
Because of the lockout, the dates for several postseason business transactions have been extended for this summer only.
Compliance buyouts begin 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final ends. Clubs have until 5 p.m. on July 4 to declare their independence, if you’ll pardon the expression, from a player.
In other words, the Flyers still have lots of time to decide on Bryzgalov, which is why Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com earlier this week he has not given the goalie's agent, Ritch Winter, any promises his client won’t be bought out.
Winter disputes that, telling reporters earlier this week he had indeed received assurances from Holmgren that Bryzgalov will remain a Flyer.
At this point, it seems the Flyers won’t go through with a buyout unless they find a suitable replacement for Bryzgalov. They feel Bryzgalov can be trusted with the starter’s job over Steve Mason, who performed extraordinarily well albeit in only seven games at season's end.
The Flyers want to be aggressive this summer in retooling their roster and still feel they can upgrade their defense and forward positions.
That’s going to require additional salary. Bryzgalov’s $5.6 million cap hit makes him a likely target for a buyout to achieve that goal.
The Flyers also remain in the hunt for Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan. At the same time, the club wants to see what other forwards might be available via compliance buyouts.
One of those forwards is the Rangers’ Brad Richards, although reports suggest new coach Alain Vigneault wants him retained.
Today, the Flyers officially acknowledged they are buying out Danny Briere’s contract, which erases $6.5 million off their salary cap for next season.
Yet given the kind of moves the Flyers seem to have in mind, they’re going to need to shed considerably more money from their roster in the weeks ahead, which again points in Bryzgalov’s direction.
The cap for 2013-14 falls to $64.3 million.
They feel Bryzgalov can be trusted with the starter’s job over Steve Mason, who performed extraordinarily well albeit in only seven games at season’s end.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
After skating to their best record in four years, the Philadelphia Flyers quelled the notion that they would show the growing pains of a rebuilding franchise in 2016. A playoff berth in Dave Hakstol’s first year as head coach brought about the emergence of a new noisemaker in the crowded Metropolitan division, one that stretched the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games in the Quarterfinals.
The Flyers will look to build on the success of last season by relying more on budding players Shane Gostisbehere and Ivan Provanov while veterans Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Boyd Gordon all look to lead the team back to another postseason. And while excitement continues to build in Philadelphia, fans can find comfort in the fact that Flyers tickets on the secondary market are the least expensive they’ve been this decade.
On TicketIQ, a leading online aggregator that pools both primary and secondary market listings to give consumers the most transparent buying experience, Flyers tickets are averaging $108.32 across all 41 home games at Wells Fargo Center this season. That marks a 12.4 percent drop from the $123.64 average at the beginning of last season. It is the cheapest home average the Flyers have posted since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data.
While Thursday’s home opener served as one of the NHL’s most expensive games this week, a March 15 matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be the most expensive Flyers home game this season. That game currently owns a $183.16 average, 69 percent over the season average, and the cheapest available tickets are priced for $73 each. Other top-priced games at Wells Fargo Center this season include January 4 against the New York Rangers ($163.62 avg./$57 get-in) and October 29 against the Penguins ($156.36 avg./$90 get-in).
For those looking for tickets to the cheapest Flyers games this season, an October 27 matchup with the Arizona Coyotes is the least expensive home game to attend. Tickets are averaging just $63.50, 41 percent below season average, and the get-in price is $16. Back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets on November 15 and 17 follow, with tickets starting from just $20 each at both contests.
For the best deals on Flyers tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Fans can save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings in the only engagement-based loyalty program in the marketplace. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving today!
Another Flyers player has been suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety.
This time, it's right winger Dale Weise, who on Friday was banned three games for an illegal check to the head of Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer during the Flyers' 3-2 home-opening loss Thursday night.
As Holzer was attempting to chip the puck out of his own zone in the second period, Weise lowered his right shoulder and made a high hit to the blueliner.
The NHL Department of Player Safety explained that Weise made the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable and unnecessary. Weise is a repeat offender, as he lost three preseason games for a hit while playing with the Canucks ahead of the 2013-14 regular season.
With Weise's suspension, rookie Roman Lyubimov, the Flyers' lone remaining healthy scratch, will enter the lineup.
The Flyers have been suspended an NHL-most 12 games. Forward Brayden Schenn served a three-game suspension to start the season for a hit in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, while defenseman Radko Gudas is currrently serving a six-gamer for a check during the preseason.
Weise, who the Flyers signed in the offseason to a four-year, $9.4 million deal, has not registered a point in four games playing on the team's third line.