The Philadelphia Flyers haven't had a legitimate, dominating, steady starting goaltender since about 1987, during the first incarnation of Ron Hextall. Perhaps not coincidentally, they've just about always been in contention since, but have only made the Stanley Cup Finals twice in that time period.
And the ultimate prize still evades them.
After getting swept out of the 2011 postseason, the focus in Philly has been on the crease yet again, with fans and media and everybody in between calling for a true No. 1 starter to boost the team to the ever-elusive Cup. Owner Ed Snider, who's been in charge of things since the Flyers entered the league in 1967 and treats the team like his baby, agrees with the assessment.
Told that the fan base was lamenting the need for a true No. 1 goalie for a few decades, Snider fired back, "I want one, too."
"So either one of the goalies we have has to step up in training camp, or we have to make improvements to make sure it happens. But we are never going to go through the goalie issues we've gone through in the last couple of years."
"If we trade or go for a goalie [through free agency], we'll make it work," he said. "We can make anything work, even with the cap."
That's Snider, completely disregarding the fact that his team has no room against the cap to make a move for a big-name goaltender like Tomas Vokoun or Ilya Bryzgalov, among others. Regardless of Snider's clout in the league -- and he might just be the most powerful owner in the NHL -- he can't just ignore that cap.
It's an obstacle, to be sure -- perhaps even a total impediment. But he's definitely a guy that's known to get his way, so it'll be interesting to see what happens.