The Flyers stepped into the free-agent frenzy early by trading for the pending free-agent rights to G Ilya Bryzgalov. The Coyotes, who were not going to re-sign the goaltender, got a third-round pick in the 2012 draft and D Matt Clackson, who likely isn't in their NHL plans.
But still, it's something instead of nothing -- which is what it could turn out to be for Philly. Reports out of Philly are tossing around five years and $30-million for Bryzgalov, who'll be 31 in a couple weeks and, aside from being an able backup during the Ducks' 2007 Cup run, hasn't done much in the postseason, which is where the Flyers need some help in net.
The Flyers went down this road before, trading D Ryan Parent, a former first-round pick, to the Predators last June for the rights to negotiate with Dan Hamhuis. Hamhuis signed with the Canucks, the Flyers got a seventh-round pick and Parent is now a Canuck, though he's not playing in the finals.
So even if Bryzgalov doesn't sign, this wasn't a huge deal for Philly, though they clearly need help in goal. If he does sign, Paul Holmgren will need to be creative and possibly unload Kris Versteeg in a summer trade and/or watch key winger Ville Leino walk in free agency.
As for Brad Richards, Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk claims to be looking for a trading partner for Richards' rights, though Richards has a no-trade clause. The only way the Rangers, who as of now have four picks in this year's draft, would seemingly go for a rights trade is by moving a 2012 mid-draft pick or try to convince Nieuwendyk to take a player the Rangers want to move, like Wojtek Wolski, whose buyout on June 15 is almost certain.
Unless there's a team -- the Kings or Leafs, Richards' two most prominent suitors outside the Rangers -- willing to dump a large amount of cash on Richards right now, don't see his rights moving. The teams with money will have it on July 1 and Richards is the top forward target.