Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Flyers talking goalie

Frequent Flyers: The Flyers have entered into preliminary trade talks with the New York Islanders for goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Flyers talking goalie

New York Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson (30) could become Ray Emery´s replacement. (AP Photo/Chris O´Meara)
New York Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson (30) could become Ray Emery's replacement. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. – With the official announcement that Ray Emery will be done for the season, trade winds of the Flyers looking for a goalie are suddenly heating up.

A league source told the Daily News that the Flyers have looked into acquiring goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders.

At this point, the interest is preliminary. Roloson will be in net tonight for the Islanders, meaning a trade before the game would be unlikely. It may be something to keep in mind if the Flyers’ other lines in the water hit snags.

Here’s why that move may make sense: Roloson carried the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006 and he is well-liked in the locker room.

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The Daily News learned earlier today that the Flyers were in intense talks with Roloson last summer prior to Emery’s signing. Chris Pronger, apparently, was one of the players that went to bat for Roloson with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

In the end, the talks stopped, the Flyers signed Emery and Roloson moved to the Islanders.

Let’s not forget: Paul Holmgren and Islanders GM Garth Snow (yes, the former Flyers goalie) are pretty tight. They even had a little wager going during the 2009 World Series between the Phillies and Yankees.

Sure, the Islanders aren’t far from the playoff hunt, but if they can nab a piece for Roloson that may help them in the future, I’d bet they’d be willing to let Roloson go, play Marty Biron for the rest of this season and use an AHL backup… assuming Rick DiPietro stays out of the lineup.

Here’s why the move might not work: Roloson is 40 and he has another year left on his contract.

Roloson’s $2.5 million cap hit is manageable for the Flyers to fit this season. If Roloson is on board, the Flyers can remove Brian Boucher’s $900,000 cap hit from the roster and send him to Adirondack.

Two questions:

  • Is he a better goaltender than Michael Leighton? It’s tough to say. He certainly has more experience. His numbers (.910 save percentage and a 19-13-6 record) are pretty decent.
  • Is he the Flyers’ long-term solution in net? If he doesn’t fit the Flyers plans for next season, it probably doesn’t make sense to roll the dice on Roloson.

As I mentioned in today’s paper, the Flyers aren’t afraid to enter the home stretch with Leighton in net. He has been phenomenal (12-3-1) for the Flyers this season.

A league source spoke with Roloson around 4 o’clock this afternoon and Roloson said he “hadn’t heard anything” and he wasn’t “sure what would happen.” Islanders reporter BD Gallof said New York is 95-percent likely to deal Roloson before the deadline.

Any move for Roloson would be nearly impossible (salary wise) for the Flyers if a deal is made with Nashville for Dan Hamhuis. Right now, the Flyers need to re-group and get their priorities in order.

Ottawa and Chicago are some of the other possible interested parties. As with the deal in Nashville, other team’s ability to offer draft picks and prospects could trump a lot of the offers the Flyers can put on the table.

Follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter (http://twitter.com/DNFlyers) for the latest updates.

About this blog
Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Sports Columnist
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