In a meeting that could shape the Flyers’ future, standout goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will be introduced to several team officials on Thursday.
Bryzgalov and his agent, Ritch Winter, will arrive in Philadelphia late Wednesday night and will meet with general manager Paul Holmgren, coach Peter Laviolette and goalie coach Jeff Reese, among others, the next day.
“We think it’s important that he talks with Jeff Reese,” Holmgren said on Tuesday.
The Flyers acquired the rights to Bryzgalov last week, sending minor-league winger/enforcer Matt Clackson and a third-round pick in 2012 to Phoenix. The Coyotes will also get a conditional pick if Bryzgalov signs with the Flyers.
Thursday will be the first time the Flyers’ brass has had a chance to meet with the colorful goalie, who turns 31 on June 22.
Holmgren had a recent phone conversation with Bryzgalov, and said he “sounded pretty excited” about playing for the Flyers.
The Flyers are optimistic about coming to terms with Bryzgalov before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Bryzgalov figures to get a five-year deal in the $27 million neighborhood
To sign the goalie and fit him under the cap, the Flyers will probably not be able to resign Ville Leino _ and figure to move one of their high-priced players, such as defenseman Matt Carle.
The Flyers, sources said, are open to trading “anyone,” but they would prefer to keep their offensive core together. Translation: They want to keep Jeff Carter unless they are overwhelmed by an offer. (So far, that hasn’t happened.)
If the Flyers sign Bryzgalov, they are expected to use Sergei Bobrovsky as his backup.
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Forward Tom Sestito, an enforcer who played with the Phantoms last season but could be with the Flyers in 2011-12, said on Twitter that he had signed a contract Tuesday.
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at email@example.com or on Twitter at BroadStBull.
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