With the Stanley Cup handed over to the Chicago Blackhawks, the clock was ticking on buy-out clauses taking effect. Danny Briere was the first of the Flyers choices. There was one other name that was a possibility.
Everyone knew it was more than a consideration. It was, in fact, a very realistic option. But hardly anybody truly expected it to go down in this fashion, especially after the Flyers failed to acquire Kings backup Jonathan Bernier.
Ilya Bryzgalov, the goaltender that was expected to lift the Flyers to elite status and acquired only after the Flyers traded Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, will no longer be a Flyer. Paul Holmgren announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Flyers will use their second and final amnesty compliance buyout on the 33-year-old goalie.
Bryzgalov will still be paid approximately $1.63 million over the next 14 seasons to completely do away with the contract according to Frank Seravalli of the Daily News.
In his two seasons with the Flyers, Bryzgalov posted a 52-33-10 with a 2.64 goals against average and .905 save percentage. He played in 99 games with the Flyers.
Bryzgalov declined comment to reporters in the wake of the buyout. Meanwhile, Holmgren issued the following statement:
"I met with Ilya this morning and informed him that we are going to exercise a compliance buyout of his contract. This was a very difficult business decision to make for us and we want to thank Ilya for his time here and wish him all the best moving forward.”
Free agency begins 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. Roughly 12 hours into the wait, the Flyers have already set themselves up for a busy offseason. At the moment, the only goalie on the roster is Steve Mason. Additionally, between Briere and Bryzgalov, the Flyers have freed up $12.17 million which will likely go toward either another goalie or bolstering the blue line.
Stay tuned to Flyerdelphia throughout the offseason for updates on the Flyers signings, trades and everything in between.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Flyerdelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.