For at least the next 22 days, Ilya Bryzgalov is a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. The Phoenix Coyotes traded their Vezina Trophy nominee goaltender to the team for soon-to-be free agent minor leaguer Matt Clackson, a 2012 third round pick and a conditional pick (on which we do not know the condition).
It's a simple move for the Coyotes. They knew they weren't going to sign Bryzgalov before or after July 1 when free agency opens, and opted to get something for him in return instead of letting him walk for nothing. Happens all the time, could have been expected.
For the Flyers, the motivations are also pretty clear, even if that's not also true of their priorities. Owner Ed Snider said in many, many end-of-season interviews this season that his team would get a No. 1 goaltender (finally) this season, and this is obviously the first step in that quest.
It gets convoluted, however, when you look at the price tag on Bryzgalov's ear. Quite simply, he wants to be paid over $5 million, possibly even closer to $6 million, and the Flyers simply don't have that kind of salary cap space. In fact, as of Wednesday with 18 players signed for next season, they have just $430,845 in space, according to CapGeek.com.
That could change with some alterations, of course. Signing Ville Leino, a pending free agent, seems out of the cards if they want to get Bryzgalov in the mix, and it's likely that somebody else could have to go as well. General manager Paul Holmgren is a huge fan of the no-trade clause, however, which limits the number of legitimate trade options the Flyers have if they need to shed significant salary.
It'll be interesting to see what comes next in Philadelphia, but there are still moves to be made for sure.