What role Flyers owner Ed Snider played in the decision to sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to nine-year, $51 million deal in the first place is open to debate. However, it was Flyers GM Paul Holmgren’s decision to buy out Bryzgalov — and he’s backing that call.
“I fully support Paul Holmgren in his decision to use our final compliance buyout for Ilya Bryzgalov,” Snider said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. “It was a very difficult decision from a financial standpoint, but if Bryz remained a Flyer, the dollars would be far greater in a shorter timeframe.
“We now have cap space, which allows us to improve our team. In the meantime, Bryz can try to find a situation where he can achieve true happiness.”
Holmgren said he explained his reasoning to Snider and the conversation went “okay.”
As seems to often be the case with Bryzgalov, this situation has been a dramatic one. Bryzgalov initially congratulated the media following his buyout, according to Courier-Post writer Randy Miller
He later issued a statement thanking Snider and those who supported him “through some very dark days and difficult situations.”
After that, his agent, Ritch Winter slammed the Flyers’ defensive system.
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.