Philadelphia Flyers Need a Move to Upgrade Goaltending

 The Philadelphia Flyers Need a Goaltending Update and the Best Way to Do So is to Take a Look in the Trade Pool of NHL Goaltenders. The Flyers Will Turn to the Trade Market to Find a Worthy Goalie Update For Their Team.

It’s a buyers market among NHL goaltenders, and the Philadelphia Flyers have the best shot to get the guy they want.

Names like Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop, Jaroslav Halak and Ryan Miller are all on the trade market and will likely have new NHL homes before the NHL’s trade deadline.

The Dallas Stars and St.Louis Blues may also be in the running for upgrades between the crease, but it’s the Philly Flyers who should have the upper hand.

Unlike in Dallas and St.Louis, the Flyers do not have an NHL goaltender signed past the remained of this season with Steve Mason and Michael Neuvirth becoming free agents on July 1. That’s the first bargaining chip.

Secondly, the Flyers will have the cap space to ensure the goalie they acquire stays with the team.

It’s obvious that Steve Mason and Michael Neuvirth cannot get the job done, hence why the Flyers are currently last in the NHL in save percentage. Neuvirth boasts a .877 save percentage in 14 games. while Steve Mason has a putrid .899 in 39 games.

With that in mind, if the Flyers want to make the playoffs, they will have to make a deal for one of the aforementioned goaltenders.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY


The Flyers will look to their divisional rivals for one of the bigger names available.

Marc-Andre Fleury has watched his job be taken by rookie Matt Murray and with Murray’s new contract set to begin next season, it’s obvious that Fleury is the odd man out.

Fleury has not had a great season himself, but he is still a bonafide number one goaltender. His current stat line reads 13-7-4, 3.23 GAA and .904 save percentage, but that is a slight improvement on the Flyer’s current goaltenders.

With the upcoming expansion draft looming, the Penguins know that they will need to trade Fleury to keep Matt Murray, and that brings his price down.

I’d expect the Flyers would be able to pry the two-time Stanley Cup winner in exchange for Michael Neuvirth, Robert Hagg and a 3rd round pick.

BEN BISHOP

The Tampa Bay Lightning are all but committed to moving on from Ben Bishop. The team even  awarded a contract to backup Andrei Vasilevskiy. Seems very similar to that of Pittsburgh’s dilemma.

Like Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop has seen his numbers drop drastically. Bishop has split games with the Russian youngster and boasts an 11-11-3 record, 2.78 GAA and .905 save percentage.

While the Penguins are looking as good as they did last when they won the Stanley Cup, the Lightning find themselves in a playoff race and chances are they might miss the postseason altogether.

If the Lightning want to make a run for the playoffs, trading Bishop for something of need may be the best course of action. The Bolts would probably prefer to trade Bishop to the Western Conference but beggars can’t be choosers.

Would the Flyers be willing to move a secondary scorer like Matt Read or Michael Raffl to pry Bishop away? Or would the Flyers be better off waiting for Bishop to hit free agency and get him for nothing?

I’d say wait it out if Bishop is the guy they really want.

Either way, Bishop in a Flyers uniform just makes way to much sense.

JAROSLAV HALAK

The Flyers could’ve claimed Jaroslav Halak for nothing when the goaltender passed through waivers but they didn’t. Though he most likely went unclaimed likely due to his $4.5 million salary for this year and the next.

The price for Halak is almost nonexistent and may be best determined by swapping salary.

Could the Flyers move Andrew MacDonald and his ridiculous contract back to Long Island? If they could that should be the last thing Garth Snow does as a GM.

Maybe it’s more likely the Flyers move Michael Del Zotto’s $3.87m contract and throw in Michal Neuvirth to make the money work while also acquiring a second asset along with Halak.

Halak had a poor year with a bad Islanders team going 6-8-5, 3.23 GAA and a .904 save percentage. Halak was assigned to the farm club in Bridgeport following the disappointing play.

Halak has remained professional and put up good numbers through his first six starts in the minors. Halak is 3-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA and .918 save percentage.

He is an NHL goaltender and he will make his way back for certain. Halak also has a good track record as a playoff goaltender.

If Ron Hextall wants a quick fix for cheap, this is the deal he should be making.

RYAN MILLER

While the Vancouver Canucks remain in the playoff hunt, there is a chance the Canucks could capitalize on the amount of team’s seeking goaltending depth and deal Ryan Miller.

Miller is quietly having a really good season splitting the crease with Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom will most likely take the starting goalie job full-time next season. So there’s really no need for the aging Ryan Miller.,

He could probably fetch a 2nd round pick and the Flyers would have no troubles swapping him out, likely moving one of Mason or Neuvirth to keep the contract numbers the same.

If Miller doesn’t work out, then he walks. If he plays well he’ll likely only ask for a one-year deal for next season.

CONCLUSION

One thing is for sure, the Flyers need goaltending and they are in a good position to upgrade.

Looking at the available options, I think it’s best for Philadelphia to inquire about Jaroslav Halak. This is the best bet if the plan is to make the playoffs this year.

If the plan is to look toward the future, then you go hard after Ben Bishop.

This article originally appeared on