The Philadelphia Flyers are primed to sign free-agent goalie Brian Elliott on July 1, according to reporter Andy Strickland of FOX Sports Midwest. He has it at a very cost-effective two years and $2.75 million for the 32-year-old netminder, which would be just $500,000 more than his base salary last season.
This is actually a better deal than the one floated by Strickland earlier in the week, which was three years at that cap hit.
The move comes after last season’s primary starter, Steve Mason, will reportedly leave the Flyers for the Winnipeg Jets on July 1.
Mason had a .919 even-strength save percentage on 1,297 shots against with the Flyers last season. Elliott was traded to the Calgary Flames after a career redefining playoff run with the St. Louis Blues in 2016, and had a .918 EV save percentage on 1,068 shots.
So they got an older, cheaper Steve Mason to pair with the same Michal Neuvirth they had last season, who was signed to an extension back in March, because maybe they thought George McPhee would take him in the expansion draft? Who knows?
One hopes Neuvirth bounces back from a down 2016-17, and one assumes the same for Elliott. As for the future, Travis Hughes feels it’s a two-year Band-Aid:
Needless to say, a two-year term makes more sense for the Flyers. There are so many young goalie prospects in the system, from Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon at the AHL level, to Carter Hart in the WHL, to Felix Sandstrom in Sweden, and others. Two years is a lot of time to figure out the future of these guys, and it’s smart not to get locked into anything long term with an NHL goalie right now given the position of the franchise.
And by “future of these guys” we assume he means the next in an unending series of “solutions” in goal that have yet to be solutions for the Flyers. But hey, at least this one is cost effective.
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