Despite talk of Brad Richards potentially turning down a reunion with John Tortorella the Rangers will still go after the talented center if he hits the market. Last night the Flyers repeated their own history as they acquired exclusive negotiating rights from the Coyotes for Ilya Bryglazov, much like they did for Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen a few years prior.
This could be a big move for the Flyers. If they are able to sign the Russian goalie, it would go a long way in remedying their biggest area of concern. Surely a move to sign Bryglazov would mean the Flyers would have to move players like Jeff Carter or Danny Briere, but that is talk for another day.
The Flyers gave up a third pick in 2012 and a conditional (assume that is based on the Russian signing in Philadelphia). Bryglazov earned $4.5m last season playing in Arizona and is certainly a good goaltender. An Olympic Bronze medallist and a Stanley Cup winner, Bryglazov has had a few excellent years in the desert and given his age is one of the better goaltenders to potentially hit the market in recent years. How does this affect the Rangers?
While Richards would probably cost more than what Philly gave Phoenix for Bryglazov, he shouldn’t cost too much more. Maybe a lesser roster player or prospect would get the deal done. Maybe a pick in a future draft would get a deal done for Richards’ rights. If the cost to talk to Richards was a conditional 2012 third round pick, that became a second rounder upon his signing, would the Rangers do it? Most likely.
Don’t forget, a Richards signing improves the Rangers and hopefully lessens the value of the pick. Gilroy and a conditional third? Why not. One thing is for sure, with the Flyers move made yesterday, figure a lot more GM’s to be active before the draft. Paul Holmgren just fired the starter gun on the off season’s first busy period.