What exact role did Flyers chairman Ed Snider have in bringing Ilya Bryzgalov to Philadelphia in 2011?
For now, it seems like we won’t know the answer to that question.
After multiple attempts for comment on Bryzgalov’s $23 million buyout, Snider issued a statement on Wednesday. Snider, 80, was said to have been traveling.
“I fully support Paul Holmgren in his decision to use our final compliance buyout for Ilya Bryzgalov,” Snider said in the statement. “It was a very difficult decision from a financial standpoint, but if Bryz remained a Flyer, the dollars would be far greater in a shorter timeframe.
“We now have cap space, which allows us to improve our team. In the meantime, Bryz can try to find a situation where he can achieve true happiness.”
When asked on Tuesday, Holmgren said the conversation with Snider about Bryzgalov’s buyout was “OK.”
“I explained my reasoning behind it moving forward,” Holmgren said. “It was fine.”
Numerous reports have hinted previously that Snider was a key cog in pushing Paul Holmgren to allocate more dollars toward goaltending after the Flyers’ 2011 playoff circus that included Michael Leighton, Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher.
In the past, Snider is usually on record as saying he likes to let his hockey people make hockey decisions. But Snider admitted at the time he was part of the deal.
"It had to be done," Snider told the Daily News on June 21, 2011 in Las Vegas. "I was part of making it happen. It was hard to sit there and watch the Stanley Cup final, knowing what Tim Thomas was doing for Boston.
"By and large, you could not spend as much on forwards or defensemen and still win. It can be a crapshoot no matter who you bring in. But I'm hopeful that this is the guy that can make it happen. For me, the goaltender is the final piece of this team.
“Look, if you don't spend the money, you ain't going to get him. It's really that simple.”
The Flyers spent the money. Now, after the most costly mistake in franchise history, they will continue to spend until 2027.
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