It doesn’t have quite the same impact as the Ilya Bryzgalov acquisition, but the Flyers have signed another goalie. This time it’s free-agent Jason Bacashihua (pronounced (buh-KAH-shoo-wuh — thanks Chuck Gormley), a 28 year-old who last played for Lake Erie of the AHL.
Bacashihua, a former first round pick taken 26 overall in 2001 by the Dallas Stars, signed a one-year deal and should allow the Flyers some flexibility in future trade talks. With a stud at the top of the depth chart in Bryzgalov, a young and talented and possible trade bait number two in Sergei Bobrovsky, and with the signing of rookie free agent Niko Hovinen, the Flyers could look to make some changes in their organizational goaltender inventory. Michael Leighton and Johan Backlund, both with one year remaining on their contracts, could be moved for depth at other positions.
In 42 games for Lake Erie last season, Bacashihua was 23-16-3 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. In 102 games over the last four seasons in the AHL, he put up a 58-51-9 record with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
Bacashihua hasn’t really been able to find any traction in the NHL, appearing in only 38 career games for the St. Louis Blues, compiling a 7-17-4 record with a 3.19 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage.
It’s safe to say Ilya Bryzgalov’s job is safe, but if this signing means Michael Leighton can’t be used in a spot start in the 2012 playoffs, it’s a deal all Flyers fans can cheer for.
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