Our old friend Brian Boucher is back. The Flyers have traded for the goaltender, according to multiple reports, sending Luke Pither of the Adirondack Phantoms to the Carolina Hurricanes organization in exchange for BOOOSH. Prospect defenseman Mark Alt is also coming to Philadelphia in the deal.
We love Boosh and all, but it's safe to say the timing is a little odd. We talked the other day about how Ilya Bryzgalov is likely going to play a considerable chunk of hockey this season -- potentially as much as 40-plus games in a 48-game season -- and the need for a backup goaltender will be considerably less than in a normal year.
And no matter how you feel about Michael Leighton, he's a serviceable NHL backup and can certainly play eight-to-10 games in a season without too much of an issue.
So the Boucher signing is weird. One thinking: With Scott Munroe on an AHL deal, the Flyers could want some depth in case of an injury. Cal Heeter would likely be next in line should there be an injury to either Bryzgalov or Leighton, so adding Boosh helps in that regard. Boosh will probably join both Bryzgalov and Leighton in camp.
He's a UFA this coming summer and will earn $950,000 against the cap this season, and he's obviously familiar with the organization and all of that.
As for Mark Alt: The defenseman is a 6'5, 205 pound junior at the University of Minnesota. He was selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Hurricanes. He's never played a pro game. A quick scouting report via our friends at Hurricanes blog Shutdown Line, written prior to the current season:
He has proven to be a terrific defensive player but the offensive side of his game is still a work in progress. Scoring isn't exactly his top priority but defensemen who can contribute well at both ends generally are more valuable and are projected to do more in the long-run. For Alt, the offense is starting to come around. He set career highs in goals and points last season and finished second among Gopher defensemen with 22 points in 43 games. Those numbers aren't going to blow away anyone but Alt was only a sophomore last year and was playing some pretty big minutes in a very difficult conference. He may have not been the team's MVP but it is fair to say that Alt played a role in the Gophers reaching the Frozen Four last season.
Alt has three points in 21 games this season, so it's safe to say the offense isn't coming around in his junior year. But if he's still solid defensively, Alt could be a nice addition to the system here. We'll work on getting an updated scouting report for you.