PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates during a third period timeout against the Buffalo Sabres in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Could Sergei Bobrovsky's days as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers organization be numbered? Well, where there's smoke there's usually fire, and there's been plenty of smoke over the last several days regarding the Flyers desire to acquire a veteran backup goaltender.
The Globe & Mail in Toronto reported Monday that the Flyers were interested in Tomas Vokoun prior to his trade from Washington and his subsequent contract signing with the Penguins. The Columbus Dispatch also tossed in Bobrovsky's name as a potential answer in the Blue Jackets' crease in a story on Monday, leading to speculation that the Flyers could be interested in trading the backup goaltender.
A trade would make a ton of sense, just as signing a veteran backup to a contract would make a ton of sense.
Whether we agree with it or not, Ilya Bryzgalov is the starter for the next eight seasons. He's not going anywhere because a) Ed Snider is stubborn b) nobody's taking that contract off the Flyers' hands easily.He's not going anywhere.
With that, Bobrovsky is one of the most expensive backup goaltenders in the league, earning $1.75 million per season against the cap. It doesn't make much sense to pay a backup that much money, especially when that backup is so young and doesn't really contribute much off the ice. Hell, the kid barely speaks English. I doubt his locker room presence is all that infectious.
Should the Flyers sign a veteran backup -- someone much like Vokoun, Martin Biron, Scott Clemmensen or perhaps even Josh Harding -- they could save money against the cap. That's a big concern for a team that has more money allotted to their roster next season than 27 other NHL clubs.
It'll also give the Flyers somebody with some experience as an actual backup behind Bryzgalov. Playing every night and playing the backup role are far different things, and it's good to have a veteran in that role simply when it comes to attitude and approach to the job.
It would also give Bob the chance to ... you know, actually advance his hockey career. He's not going to get an opportunity here, and it's only fair that the Flyers try to let him spread his wings a bit. Playing backup to Bryzgalov isn't the answer for either party.
Also, if the Flyers aren't going to use his services to their potential, it makes sense to get something for him ... you know, wasted assets and all of that. If they're not going to play him more than 20 to 30 games a season, they should get something for him. It's good for everybody: Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers, the team getting Bob and Bob himself.
I'm not sure if the Flyers are ready to trade Bob, but there's no reason for them to continue to hold on to him. This free agency market is ripe with quality veteran backup goaltenders -- but it's also slim on potential starting goaltenders, which could raise the price on a guy like Bob.
I'm a fan of Sergei Bobrovsky and think he can be a quality goalie in the NHL, but that's not happening in Philadelphia. Not with eight more years of Ilya Bryzgalov ahead. It's time to sell.