Hextall staying patient in Flyers’ goalie search
The Philadelphia Flyers were hoping to add a veteran goaltender this weekend to complement Michal Neuvirth and as of Saturday evening they had yet to accomplish that goal.
General manager Ron Hextall does not seem too concerned about that development and is leaning on the fact it seems to be a buyer’s market at the position.
“I don’t know what’s going to present itself. My comfort level is there’s a number of goalies out there. Not six No. 1 spots out there and one goalie out there. I have comfort in that,” Hextall said, via Adam Kimelman of NHL.com.
“We’re still doing our due diligence and in the end it’ll probably come down to the guys we like and then we’ll look at term and length. If we like this guy and he’s asking unreal term or whatever we’ll go somewhere else.”
He also added that Steve Mason is still in the mix to potentially return, even though most signs point to that not happening.
So far this offseason a number of goalies have already changed teams, with Ben Bishop going to the Dallas Stars, Mike Smith going to the Calgary Flames and Marc-Andre Fleury being selected in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Still, Hextall isn’t wrong in his assessment of the goaltending market because there are more good goalies available than there are starting spots.
Just about every team in the league right now is settled with its starting goalie. Other than maybe the Winnipeg Jets there really isn’t anybody else out there along with the Flyers that is in the market to find a No. 1 goalie. That leaves the Flyers with what should be their pick of potential starters (or platoon partners for Neuvirth).
The unrestricted free agent market includes Ryan Miller, Brian Elliott, Jonathan Bernier and Mason.
As of this moment the Flyers’ goaltending duo would be Neuvirth and rookie Anthony Stolarz, a combination that Hextall did not seem entirely comfortable with given Stolarz’s inexperience and Neuvirth’s injury history, so he seems determined to bring in somebody else to help solidify the position.
It is just a matter who it is going to be and how much it costs to acquire. He is certainly going to have plenty of options over the next week.
The Neuvirth/Mason duo was a fantastic value for the Flyers two years ago, but due to injury and just all-around poor play everything kind of fell apart for them this past season.
It was a big factor in what turned out to be an extremely disappointing season for the Flyers.