You all know the news by now — the Philadelphia Flyers will use a compliance buyout on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
It could be that management already has a plan in place to address the starting goaltending for next season, so don’t be surprised if there’s more to this story soon.
But here are five potential options, for discussion’s sake:
Another big contract with lots of years left, but the Flyers have the pockets to take it on, and let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly risk averse. Luongo’s cap hit is $5.3 million, which could be problematic. But let’s say room can be found — at this point, the Canucks can’t expect much in return for the 34-year-old, so for Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren, it could mean getting a goalie with tons of big-game experience for not much more than the willingness to roll the dice.
Update: 2:30 p.m. ET
So much for that.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Emery went a remarkable 17-1-0 (.922 save percentage) with the Blackhawks during the regular season. There’s still significant risk attached to the 30-year-old, however, as Emery hasn’t been a full-time starter in the NHL since undergoing surgery for avascular necrosis in 2010.
A potential trade candidate out of Buffalo, the 32-year-old has one year remaining on his contract, with a $6.25 million cap hit. Miller has been good, but not elite-level, the past three seasons for the Sabres. In 2013, he went 17-17-5 with a .915 save percentage.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Smith is in line for a good-sized payday. Whether Holmgren would have the appetite to sign another goalie out of Phoenix remains to be seen. Have Smith’s numbers been inflated playing behind a defense-first system? Certainly a few thought that was the case with Bryzgalov. It’s possible Smith ends up re-signing with the Coyotes anyway.
For the moment, he’s number one on the Flyers’ depth chart. The 25-year-old had his struggles in Columbus, and former Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson may not recommend betting on the former rookie of the year to regain his form. But Mason was good in six starts for the Flyers, posting four wins and allowing just 12 goals combined.