In a conference call this afternoon Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Bill Guerin had been released from his tryout contract and will obviously not be playing in Philadelphia this season. Predictions are that Andreas Nodl will take Guerin's supposed spot on the roster.
Paul Holmgren said dollars weren't a factor in Guerin's departure. "We just didn't see him helping us," Holmgren said. "It had nothing to do with salary. If we felt he could have helped, we would have done something."
So what Holmgren is saying here is that the Flyers could have fit Guerin under the salary cap without a problem. It was more of the fact that the 39-year-old couldn't help a Flyers team who was within a game of winning the Stanley Cup last year. Philadelphia would much rather have 23-year-old Andreas Nodl on the team; a guy who in 48 career NHL games has an astonishing one goal and five points. He did score 18 goals in 40 games twice with St. Cloud State of the WCHA, so that's good to know.
The fact that Guerin has scored 20+ goals in four straight seasons and 10 out of the last 11 and the Flyers decided he couldn't help them is mind-boggling. Guerin could have been a tremendous addition to the Flyers' power play too, as opposed to Nodl who will see primarily 4th line minutes and not even get a sniff of special teams play.
There are people who said Guerin did nothing in the preseason to show he deserved a place on this team. Really? What did Chris Pronger do this preseason to show he deserved a spot on the team? Nothing. He didn't play. But Pronger has showed his worth for an entire career and throughout the 2009/2010 season, right? Well so did Bill Guerin. Some may forget, but he was the piece that brought the Penguins the Stanley Cup in 2009 after they lost it the previous season.
I hope the Flyers know something I don't here because from what I have seen so far, this releasing makes little sense. Guerin was very good on a terrible Islanders team, and has won two Cups. The guy knows how to play.
Bobrovsky named the Flyers' No. 2
With the Flyers sending Johan Backlund down to the Phantoms, this means rookie netminder Sergei Bobrovsky will be the backup to Brian Boucher in the NHL.
Now I already posted as to why Bobrovsky should spend an entire season in the AHL so I won't rehash that. In the conference call Holmgren said, "There's a chance he plays one of the first two games. I think he's played good."
I just feel that with Sergei up with the big club he won't get as many games to get used to the NHL-sized rink and NHL-skilled players. In the AHL he could play everyday and if it takes him time to warm up to the smaller rink, then so be it. Who cares if the Phantoms lose (especially now that they're no longer in Philadelphia). But when Bobrovsky has a bad game with the Flyers, it all gets magnified. A loss in the NHL is much bigger than in the AHL.
We'll have to wait and see how long Michael Leighton is out before we see how long Bobrovsky is up with the Flyers. I just hope that when Leighton does come back it is Sergei who is sent down for the added experience in the minors, not Boucher.