For the past week, the Flyers’ front office has been talking up the idea of bringing troubled goaltender Ray Emery into the organization to be the starting goalie in 2009-10. With Marty Biron set to hit the free agent market, is the Flyers’ interest in Emery legitimate? Or just a tactic to get Biron to lower his asking price?
Late in the regular season during the season ticket holder meetings, General Manager Paul Holmgren made it clear to the fans that the Flyers wanted Biron back and that Biron wanted to be back. But when talking about the barriers involved in re-signing the 31-year old netminder, Holmgren made it clear that some negotiating would need to be done to get his price reasonable. Marty earned $3.5 million last season and is speculated to be asking for a substantial raise close to $5 million a year.
The Flyers are currently without a goalie for next season and have little cap room to spend on one. Knowing this, teams with trade bait and agents of unrestricted free agents, may jack up the price of the goalies available. Simple supply and demand and the Flyers are on the wrong side of that trade off.
Day’s ago, Emery’s agent leaked the fact that the Flyers were interested in his client. The Flyers did not deny it, downplaying Emery’s off and on ice bad behavior that had him exiled to the KHL for a season. But as fans and analysts scratch their heads at the strange prospect of bringing in such a known team cancer, the Flyers may have an ulterior motive in proving to the league that they do have low-priced options. What’s even more interesting is that despite the tough talk, the Flyers did not make an official offer.
When asked about all the publicity that Emery has received in Philadelphia, Biron’s agent Gilles Lupien simply stated he knows how “the game is played”.
It is clear that the re-signing of Biron depends strictly on how much the Flyers are willing to spend on the mediocre goaltender.
It all “depends on the cap,” said Lupien, when asked if Biron will re-sign.
Lupien also told the media that regardless of what is said, the Flyers want to sign Biron and Biron wants to stay with the Flyers.
“Marty’s first option is Philly,” He said.
But is Philly’s first option Marty? It could still be possible, as long as he doesn’t ask for too much and unless Emery knocks him out again.