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The Phoenix Coyotes announced tonight that they have traded Ilya Bryzgalov's rights to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a 2012 third round draft pick and forward Matt Clackson. Here's the official release from the Coyotes.
The Flyers trading for Bryzgalov certainly is a big acquisition for them if they're able to sign him to a long-term deal. It looks like they may have finally realized that they needed to get a big-time goalie in order to get further in the playoffs and to eventually win a Cup. You can only cast a shadow over mediocre goaltending for so long.
So, what does this mean for the Rangers? For one, it'll easily make the Flyers even tougher to beat than they already were. Combine with the fact that the Devils will likely be better next year, the Penguins will most likely have a healthy Sidney Crosby back and the Rangers' constant nature to sleepwalk in games against the Islanders, and suddenly the Atlantic Division is that much more competitive. That being said, the Rangers still have the best goaltender in the division, and possibly the entire league. I think this only adds to the importance of signing Brad Richards this offseason.
I hate to keep beating a dead horse regarding Richards, but I just can't stress enough how much I think the Rangers need a dynamic player like him. The Rangers have the opportunity to fill a big need of theirs without giving up prospects, and they simply cannot let other teams in the division continue to get better without making a move to counter it. By no means am I saying that the Rangers should sign Richards simply because of Bryzgalov possibly signing with the Flyers; what I'm saying is with other teams strengthening their weaknesses, the Rangers really need to do the same.
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