Jun 042011

The Flyers just pushed Sergei Bobrovsky to the middle of the table without even glimpsing all their cards.

That’s the only logical conclusion to come from the surprising announcement that the Flyers are parting ways with top goalie prospect Joacim Eriksson, as reported initially by hockeybuzz.com.  Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren confirmed Friday that the Flyers allowed the 21 year-olds rights to expire this week.

“He didn’t play much this year and didn’t develop,” Holmgren said. “That’s just that way it goes sometimes when you draft European players. It’s disappointing, but that is the chance you take when you draft them.”
“You only get two years and they need to develop the way it should be. That’s part of the process sometimes. Is it great? No. It’s the nature of the business right now.”

Holmgren also indicated that the signing of the 6-7 Niko Hovinen a few weeks ago had a direct impact on the decision to move on from Eriksson.

“Your choice is you sign the guy, give him money and hope he develops,” Holmgren said. “Or you just wait. See what happens if they become free agents. Minnesota drafts Hovinen … it doesn’t happen, he goes back in the draft and nobody drafted him.
“Then this year he became a hot commodity. He started to come on. That’s just the way it is. When you draft kids at 17, sometimes it works out and sometime it doesn’t.”

Regardless of who they’re shuffling around at the lower levels, it’s obvious that Bobrovsky is the Flyers’ future.  And depending on whether a deal can be made for an established starter — a possibility at the draft — Bob may just be the present as well, whether he’s ready or not.

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