Just about anyone with an interest in hockey noticed that the Philadelphia Flyers experienced some troubling goaltending issues in the playoffs. Flyers executive Ed Snider was no exception.
The Philadelphia Inquirer caught up with the chairman of the Flyers’ parent company (Comcast-Spectator) to gather Snider’s thoughts on the team’s playoff struggles in net. Snider told beat writer Sam Carchidi that the season was a major disappointment and wasn’t shy to express an urgency to improve the team’s goaltending situation.
I pointed out that adding a free agent goalie might be a little complicated considering the team’s cap issues and a weak market, but Snider indicated the team could work around many of those issues.
Here’s a snippet of what Snider told Carchidi.
Told that the fan base was lamenting about needing a true No. 1 goalie for a few decades, Snider fired back: “I want one, too.”
“So either one of the goalies we have has to step up in training camp, or we have to make improvements to make sure it happens. But we are NEVER going to go through the goalie issues we’ve gone through in the last couple of years again.”
“If we trade or go for a goalie (through free-agency), we’ll make it work,” he said. “We can make anything work, even with the cap.”
Snider made it a point to say that rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was viewed as the Fyers’ “goalie of the future.”
That story also brought up the interesting alternate avenue of trading for a promising backup like Vancouver’s Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles. That’s an interesting concept since both players sport more digestible cap hits and some intriguing potential, but that isn’t a fool-proof solution either.
Simply put, if Schneider or Bernier fail, the media would probably just harp on the Flyers for going after unfinished products rather than proven veterans. Of course, that’s even assuming the Canucks or Kings would be willing to trade their talented No. 2 goalies, which isn’t a guarantee considering how fickle the goaltending position can be. (Just ask the Flyers, right?)
In some ways, the Flyers might be wise just to stick with Bobrovsky and Michael Leighton, but Snider’s comments indicate that some kind of change might come. It’s unclear if the Flyers will choose to rarget a big name, big-money free agent such as Ilya Bryzgalov or Tomas Vokoun, a cheaper veteran such as Marty Turco or Evgeni Nabokov or go with that outside-the-box backup trade option.
Whichever way they go, there might be at least some alteration to their rotation. Either way, people will criticize their decision making process unless they win their first Stanley Cup since 1975.