|We hope Bryzgalov doesn't wear that shirt in Philadelphia - things could get bad|
The Flyers have been searching for a top goalie for years and after watching the goalie circus they had going on during the playoffs upper management had enough. So they traded Matt Clackson who is just an AHL goon and a 2012 3rd rounder to the Coyotes for the negotiating rights to Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov was in the driver's seat during contract talks, with him being by far the best free agent goalie available when July 1st rolled around. So it's not a shock at the contract he got. Plus his contract is front loaded and the cap hit of $5.66M is not that bad considering the reports it was going to be closer to $7M a year.
It will be interesting to see how Bryzgalov plays next season. If he had a bad game in Phoenix last season it would go unnoticed and he wouldn't have to answer that many questions with the local media - if anything I complained about his play more than them as a fantasy owner. In Philadelphia things will be a lot different. You can just ask Mike Richards what the Philadelphia media is like. Playing in the desert is nothing like playing in a hockey mad city with tons of fans following every game and everything you do off the ice.
The last 2 seasons Bryzgalov has had some solid stats with a save percentage over .920, but regular season stats won't matter much to Flyers fans. They are hoping that they have a goalie that can show up when it really matters and lead them through the playoffs to the Stanley Cup. He was lit up last year in the playoffs with a goal against average of 4.36 and a .879 save percentage. The year before in 7 playoff games he had a 3.44 GAA and .906 save percentage. He is going to need to play better than that to keep the loud and crazy Flyers fans happy.
After trading away their captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to make cap room for Bryzgalov and to also shake up their dressing room atmosphere. The Flyers hopes of winning a cup rest on Bryzgalov's shoulders. He wanted the big bucks and he will have to prove to everyone that he is worth it. If he does fail for the Flyers, we can expect more interviews like this where he asks "why you hefta be mad?":