If Streit signs, will Flyers buy out Bryzgalov, Briere?


The Philadelphia Flyers made waves by acquiring the rights to New York Islanders blueliner Mark Streit.

While there’s no question that the Flyers could use another skilled offensive defenseman to help fill the void that’s existed since Chris Pronger suffered a concussion, Streit is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in less than a month and he’ll probably demand something in the ballpark of $5 million per season.

Even without Streit, the Flyers have exceeded the 2013-14 salary cap, based on Cap Geek’s projections, so their latest move adds further fuel to the persistent rumors that they will exercise their two compliance buyouts this summer on forward Daniel Briere and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

That would free up a little bit over $12 million in annual cap space.

“Have to believe compliance buyouts are in the works for Bryzgalov and Briere to free up cap space,” TSN’s Bob McKenzie said following the Streit trade.

If they go down that route, it won’t be a shock to either player.

“Definitely. It’s reality,” Briere said in April about the possibility of being brought out.

“To be honest, I don’t care,” Bryzgalov said on the subject. “Really, I don’t care. I have no control on this, so why should I care?”

The only difference is that Briere made it clear that he would like to stay in Philadelphia while Bryzgalov dodged the question at the time.

Meanwhile, Flyers GM Paul Homgren has tried his best to squash these types of rumors in the past.

“I think right now with Ilya and Steve [Mason], we’ve got good goaltending moving forward,” said Holmgren. “Any talk of anything other than that I think is out of bounds.”

Buying out Bryzgalov would bring an end to a shaky, albeit brief, era in Philadelphia. Bryzgalov has produced a string of often bizarre statements and has been inconsistent between the pipes. At the same time, the alternative in Philadelphia, netminder Steve Mason, shouldn’t be regarded as a safe bet after years of struggling in Columbus.

If the Flyers shed Bryzgalov’s salary, then they will likely seek a strong backup that is capable of starting if Mason falters.

Of course, it’s hard to accurately predict what Philadelphia will do because the team has been nothing if not bold. They might sign Streit and then pull the trigger on other trades that will get them under the cap while still allowing them to keep Bryzgalov and/or Briere.

Anything is possible with them.

Bryzgalov thinks Stalin did a good job, wishes Philadelphia wasn’t so old, and believes poor people don’t want to work

Ilya Bryzgalov

Ilya Bryzgalov can see the “logic” in Joseph Stalin’s actions and thought the former leader of the Soviet Union did what needed to be done to rebuild a country that was overrun with spies and criminals with guns.

Also, the Flyers’ goalie doesn’t like the oldness of Philadelphia — he likes “newer, cleaner” cities like Boston, Vancouver, and Dallas — though he does enjoy the cheesesteaks.

And he thinks there are too many people in America on welfare that don’t want to work.

That, and more, in Bryzgalov’s latest candid interview, this one with Russian sports site Championat (Google Translate).

None of the above comments are particularly unique — according to hockey writer Dmitry Chesnokov, Bryzgalov’s thoughts on Stalin are “not uncommon as the issue is highly complex.”

And compared to a lot of places in the United States, Philadelphia is quite old. (Though so is Boston.)

And he’s certainly not the only person who’s ever said welfare reduces the incentive to seek employment.

Still, his opinions could be described as somewhat divisive, and not surprisingly, the story is making the rounds in Philadelphia.

Related: Bryzgalov says journalists don’t pay him, so why should they care what he makes?

Bryzgalov: Journalists don’t pay me; why should they care what I make?

Ilya Bryzgalov

Not long after telling Philadelphia reporters what he thought of them face-to-face, Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov shared some more thoughts on the media that covers him on a daily basis in the NHL.

Via Puck Daddy, Bryzgalov told SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov and KHL.RU’s Alexander Shevchenko that there’s no point worrying about what’s written and said about him, since the media “need to have a goalie who is at fault for everything. It has always been like this and it will always be like this.”

Bryzgalov also suggested reporters shouldn’t care that he makes a lot of money, even if those reporters think his play has been sub-par.

“They, journalists, are not the ones who should be worried when the price doesn’t reflect the quality,” he said. “The management should be worried about that, and not journalists. They are not the ones paying me out of their pocket.”

Then he said some stuff about space.

PS — Bryzgalov knows there’s a salary cap, right? And that his salary affects what moves management can make? Which is why reporters write about how much he makes?