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To Bob or not to Bob? That is the question



The last few weeks there have been articles relating of this topic. One was John Bourke’s on finding a veteran backup for Bryz. Another was Bill Meltzer’s on HockeyBuzz where he stated the Flyers should hold onto Bob because he has not been backup long enough to affirm he is not suited for that particular role. I am just going to answer this right away Bob should be traded. Now before the Bob supporters jump over me for saying this I have my reasons.

Last offseason when the Flyers signed Bryzgalov to his $51 million contract, they made it clear to their players, fans and the NHL that he is going to be the goalie in Philly for the foreseeable future. Whether you like it or not it does not matter. If you ask me, who are we to funnel Bob into a backup role? The only thing we can do is support the team and trust that our GM knows what he is doing. With all that being said, why should we hold Bob back from what he could be? It would be doing a disservice to Bob and to the Flyers to keep him pinned on the bench and only starting roughly 20 games. Why not explore the options of trading Bob to a team that can utilize his skill set and get something in return for him? Plus in trading Bob and signing a less expensive more experienced backup, who accepts his role as a back up, will save some small but crucial cap space. Considering Philly always works towards the ceiling, it could be bennificial. I also understand with negotiations of the new CBA there could be talks in regards to bonus cushions and could reduce Bobs cap hit. Also rumors of Philly being involved in trying to acquire Vokoun (which I am glad they did not) also would have us believe Bob is on his way out at some point, possibly at the draft in a package deal to move up? Some notable goalies that would be available via UFA would be Clemmensen, although reports say Florida has offered a contract extension to him recently (previous cap hit $1.2), Mason (previous cap hit $1.85), and Biron (previous cap hit $875k) to name some.

Another scenario Bill Meltzer brought up in his article on HockeyBuzz was the possibility of letting Niko Hovinen challenge Bob for a back up spot and then make a decision from there, on what to do with Bob. Personally I am not a fan of this for one reason. I believe it will hinder the development of Hovinen. When is the last time you saw the Flyers fully take their time and develop a goaltender? It happened to Bob also. I still believe Bob needed some seasoning and experience as a starter in the AHL to hone in on his skillset. If that was done I think Bob would have been a much better goalie than he is today. Hovinen had an excellent year over in Finland with the Pelicans, 41 games started 21 wins a 2.26 gaa, .921 sv% with 5 shutouts. He is a monster, being listed on some sites as 6”7. That big body allows him to cover a large portion of the net, he is very athletic, great technique and is said to have a great work ethic. He is primed to make the journey across the Atlantic and assume a hefty workload in the AHL next season. If the Flyers take their time and develop this kid properly, watch out. But that is a big IF.

I understand Bob is a likeable guy, and by all means I am not saying he is a bad goalie, because he is not. His reaction time and side-to-side movement are unearthly. With that being said Bryz’s contract puts Bob out of the future plans with the Flyers and they would be wise to cash in on some of his value, whatever that may be.

Follow me on twitter @EbbonDerr

and check out my blog site www.toughbrotherlylove.squarespace.com


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