WHAT DO ILYA BRYZGALOV TO THE FLYERS AND ALES HEMSKY TO THE DEVILS HAVE IN COMMON?
They create a perfect storm of fun speculation about the LA Kings.
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov. Paul Holmgren traded a third-round draft pick in 2012, along with the rights to minor-league enforcer Matt Clackson to the Phoenix Coyotes. A good trade if they can land Ilya, of whom I am a fan. The Flyers with Bryzgalov would be a force in the East and catapulted to serious Stanley Cup contenders, even without Chris Pronger.
Of course, how do the Flyers manage to fit in this coveted unrestricted free agent’s salary needs? He made $4.5 million dollars last season. He is looking for a raise and long term contract. Assuming he wants $5 million +, that means the Flyers have to lose at least that same amount to sign Bryzgalov…where, oh where, can we find that salary? What is that you say? Jeff Carter has a cap hit of $5.3 million? A stud of a second line center that would fit quite nicely on the Kings if they can also shed some salary? We have danced this dance before…
That was fact.
Here is a rumor that is gaining legs.
The New Jersey Devils are interested in Ales Hemsky and the return would be New Jersey’s 4th overall pick. Some report the deal is close to being done. Others claim the rights to negotiate with Hemsky have already been traded. Whoa! When I first read this, my head spun. Hemsky, assuming he stays healthy, is a nice partner for Ilya Kovalchuk. However, he won’t be cheap. Hemsky is not an unrestricted free agent. He has one year left on his contract at $4.1 million. You may know that the Devils are likely taking Zach Parise to arbitration. Parise has said on the record that he would not be “thrilled” about that. The writing may be on the wall. When Jeff Vanderbeek forced Lou Lamoriello to sign Ilya Kovalchuck to that obscene salary, he handcuffed the Devils’ crafty GM with their other star winger. With the addition of Hemsky, the odds of Zach’s departure is greatly increased.
A lot could still happen. Holmgren and Lamoriello have earned their reputations and can pull a rabbit out of a hat when necessary. Of course, as an LA Kings’ fan, I keep dreaming about one Jeff Carter as our second line center or one Zach Parise as our first line left wing…hey, a boy can dream.