by Patrick Hoffman on 06/29/11 at 02:00 PM ET
After seeing what the the Philadelphia Flyers did last week, I would have to say yes.
Have NHL general managers not learned anything when it comes to signing goaltenders to ridiculous contracts? Do they not know that often, it is a very bad idea to do so due to things that could happen that are out of their control?
It would appear not since Flyers’ Gm Paul Holmgren went out and signed UFA goaltender Illya Bryzgalov to a 9-year deal. While the Flyers’ may like that they have a potential franchise netminder on their hands, there are a few examples where signing a goaltender to a long-term contract has not worked out as planned.
The first and most obvious example is New York Islanders’ goaltender Rick DiPietro. Back in September of 2006, Islanders’ general manager signed DiPietro to a then oustounding 15-year deal worth $67.5 million.
In return, the Islanders really have not received anything back from DiPietro accept injuries. DiPietro has yet to play a full season since signing the long-term deal and has also yet to return to the form that got him into the NHL in the first place. Overall, it has been a no-win situation for either DiPietro or the Islanders as a whole.
Another good example is the contract of Vancouver Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo. In September of 2009, Luongo signed a 12-year extension with the Canucks and at the time, it seemed like a smart move since Luongo had been putting up steady numbers and would more than likely keep up his end of the bargain.
While Luongo has not been terrible since signing the extension, he has not delivered the Canucks a Cup yet. He had a chance to do so this season but struggled mightily in Games 3, 4 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Final when the team needed him the most.
So, going back to Bryzgalov, why did the Flyers take a chance on this Russian netminder for 9 years at $51 million? Yes, Bryzgalov is certainly more than a solid goaltender but is he someone to build your franchise around?
We and the Flyers will find out in a few months.
What do you folks think?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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