Back in July, on the day the Philadelphia Flyers introduced their three biggest offseason signings, chairman Ed Snider was asked if his team was better with the additions of defenseman Mark Streit, goalie Ray Emery and center Vincent Lecavalier.
"You don't add three terrific players like that without getting better," Snider said. "We're better, no question about it."
There might be no question in the mind of the Flyers' founding father, but others might not be so sure.
In the summer of 2011 the Flyers signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51.5 million contract in the hope he could be the undisputed long-term answer to the never-ending goaltending question in Philadelphia. Instead, he turned out to be what general manager Paul Holmgren called a "costly mistake," and in June the Flyers used one of their compliance buyouts to terminate the final seven years of Bryzgalov's deal. They'll pay him more than $1.6 million not to play in Philadelphia this season, or about the same amount they'll pay Emery to split time in net with Steve Mason.