The NHL's off-season rumor mill starts off a lot like a tribe of wild monkeys in tree tops; Tons of random screaming and shouting from everywhere, and mass handfuls of crap being flung in every direction. It all just depends on who gets hit and what crap sticks.
No doubt you've already heard earlier today that an enormous earthquake of uncertainty hit the Twitterverse after Nick Kypreos of SportsNet tweeted Bryzgalov and the Flyers brass have come to a 7-year/$50M agreement.
Soon after that, in comes Elliott Friedman of CBC Sports saying he's heard the same thing.
Of course, due to the NHL's tagging rule, the Flyers cannot officially announce the deal's done until they clear cap room. But it's been speculated the news will go public on 1-July.
Now, ever since these two journalists lit the early morning flame, this has turned into an all out nuclear reaction.
Bloggers, sports analysts, beat writers....they're all up in arms defending reasons why this deal is just downright asinine. You'd be "sacrificing the future" as BroadStreetHockey.com puts it. Or if you really wanted to get a sense of how it'll effect the roster, Washington Capitals reporter, Stephen Whyno went into CapGeek.com's Cap Calculator feature and developed a roster with the Bryzgalov deal & cap raise introduced.
Then there's Tim Panaccio rolling in like a fire truck attempting to put out the raging rumor with quotes directly from Flyers GM, Paul Holmgren himself saying, "Rumors are rumors. We are continuing to try and reach an agreement with Ilya, but it is safe to say that we are not close to achieving this."
What this tells me is that Bryzgalov asking for the 7-yr/$50M is true, but Flyers Chairman Ed Snider and Holmgren are basically saying, "Ilya, you're a talented young man with tremendous things to offer our hockey club, but if you think you're biting into 10% of our cap hit for the next seven consecutive seasons then put me in for some of that sweet, Russian weed you're smoking, asshole."
I'm sure the convo went a bit more professional than that, but hell -- I wouldn't blame Homer and our 78 year old Flyers founder for putting it that way. We [the fans] were all busy still trying to chew and swallow the $5.5M/5-year deal that had been buzzed around for the last week or so. If this deal goes through it would make Bryzgalov the "highest paid goalie in the NHL (behind NYR's Henrik Lundqvist at $6.875 million) and one of the top-20 highest paid players in the NHL.", Geoffrey Detweiller, SB Nation
Like I mentioned in an earlier article, we've got some pretty important players becoming free agents after this 2011-12 season. Players that are a must-sign, in my humble opinion. The cap roof being raised nearly $5M helps us out, still, salary dumps will surely need to be made. And now if this newest contract rumor is true, where does the sacrificing end? Holmgren will handcuff himself with yet ANOTHER longterm contract. How much is too much?
To earn a paycheck like that, the Flyers will not only have to win the Stanley Cup with Bryzgalov in net....Bryzgalov will have to be the REASON we lift Lord Stanley.