As free agency opens today, the Flyers don’t expect to be major players on the buying side, unless they unload some unweildy contracts. (Yeah, we’re looking at you, R.J. and Vinny.) Even with the trade of Nicklas Grossman and Pronger’s contract to Arizona, combined with the Flyers’ decision to not buy out Gagner’s contract, the Flyers don’t have a lot of wiggle room, especially since they plan on locking up Michael del Zotto with a new contract.
The Flyers main priority will be to scoop up an inexpensive free agent netminder to back up Steve Mason. With a few goalies having signed contracts during the draft and afterwards, the pool is getting smaller and smaller. Here are three candidates the Flyers should consider as free agent or trade targets.
Jhonas Enroth. Enroth, who has never been a full time starting goalie, recorded a 5-5-0 record with Dallas last season after getting traded from Buffalo. He did put up a solid 2.38 GAA, but also had a somewhat pedestrian .906 save percentage. His previous cap hit was $1.25M. There have been reports that the Stars may opt to trade Kari Lehtonen, and re-sign Enroth as one part of a less expensive goaltender by committee with Jack Campbell. He would likely be the most attractive option for the Flyers.
Michal Neuvirth. Acquired by the NY Islanders from Buffalo as a backup to Jaroslav Halak, Neuvirth saw limited action with the Islanders after appearing in 27 games with Buffalo. With the Islanders, Neuvirth had a 2.94 GAA and .881 save percentage, though he had a .918 save percentage in almost 30 games with the Sabres prior to the trade to New York. He is rumored to be after a starting job, which is not going to happen in Philadelphia. Previous cap hit was $2.5M, which is probably too rich for the Flyers’ blood. They should at least kick the tires on Neuvirth.
Anders Lindback. Lindback was traded to Buffalo by the Dallas Stars after some early struggles. He played in 10 games for the Stars. Still, the 27-year old Swede put up decent numbers 22-6-16, 3.11 GAA, .909 save percentage while playing a majority of his minutes for an awful Buffalo team that was all in for the Connor McDavid Sweepstakes. With a crowded crease in Buffalo (Robin Lehner, Chad Johnson) Lindback could be the guy without a chair when the music stops. He would be a capable backup, and with a $925,000 cap hit, the numbers work, too.