A year after we asked this question for the first time, we can’t help but wonder if it’s worth asking a second time- Are the Flyers going to re-sign Brian Elliott again?
Elliott was re-signed last year as a cheap veteran backup option as he was good friends with Carter Hart. Yet, I don’t think anybody expected Elliott to step into the number one goaltender role after Carter Hart has struggled immensely. The two have spilt the season starts down the middle simply because neither have made a big difference in the net.
Elliott has suited up for 23 of the Flyers’ 45 games and his numbers have been atrocious, posting just a .888 save percentage and 3.04 goals against average. Though the lackluster numbers can be traced back to the month-long blowout streak the Flyers dealt with during March. Elliott was posting respectable numbers through January and February, he had a .935 save percentage and two two shutouts in his first 8 games of the season. He posted just an .877 save percentage in the 14 games since the calendar turned to March.
There were rumors before the trade deadline that the Flyers were interested in Detroit Red Wings’ goaltender Jonathan Bernier as a potential option if they were in a playoff position, but obviously they weren’t by the time the deadline came around and a trade never happened. But if Chuck Fletcher had the wherewithal to realize Elliott wasn’t good enough to hold down the fort by himself, maybe he doesn’t come back this summer. Yet, they can have the same excuses at the ready that they did last season. The Flyers could probably get Elliott on another one-year, $1 million deal and claim his friendship with Hart will help him break out of the funk.
Carter Hart’s regression was something no one predicted. He had been their unquestioned number one for the previous two seasons and after a dominant performance in the playoffs, everyone had thought Hart would pick up where he left off. But that sophomore slump hit during his junior season and completely threw the Flyers’ season into disarray and the front office can’t make that same mistake twice. Elliott has been a good solider over the last four years and while he may still have another good year or two left in him, that can’t come in Philadelphia.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com