Call them the Ilya-delphia Flyers.
That's what some fans were suggesting Wednesday after hotshot goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, whose rights the Flyers acquired the previous day from the Phoenix Coyotes, said he wanted to play for the Orange and Black.
Now it's up to general manager Paul Holmgren and Bryzgalov's agent, Ritch Winter, to work out the costly details. The Flyers hope to sign Bryzgalov before he hits the free-agent market on July 1.
"I am pleased the Flyers thought enough of me to make the trade with the Coyotes," Bryzgalov said in a statement. "Philadelphia is a great city, a great organization, and a great team with a rich history. I am looking forward to meeting with Paul Holmgren to discuss the possibility of us working together for many years to come."
Holmgren was tied up in the general managers' meetings in Boston on Wednesday and said he planned to talk with Winter on Thursday.
Asked if Bryzgalov would accept a deal for less than four years, Winter said he would not negotiate through the media.
Holmgren implied that the length of the contract would not be a stumbling block.
"We want to get some kind of deal done," he said. "I'm not sure we have any preference, really, [on the length]. We have to see what the other side wants to do and try to come to agreement. I'm open-minded. Obviously, at the end of the day we want to sign him."
Bryzgalov, an outgoing, colorful sort who is a student of Philadelphia history - he enjoys reading about Ben Franklin - said he would "very much like to have the opportunity to play for the Flyers."
The Russian goalie, who turns 31 later this month, thinks the Flyers are close to winning their first championship since 1975, saying they are "right there."
"I would love very much to be a part of the team that brings the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia," he said. "It would be a great honor. And it's time!"
But in order to land Bryzgalov, the Flyers will have to make several moves to fit him under the salary cap.
They might decide to part with a solid defenseman like Matt Carle (a $3.4 million cap hit), or perhaps deal a goal-scoring machine named Jeff Carter ($5.3 million). The latter move seems more unlikely, because Carter has averaged a little over 38 goals over the last three years, and he became more well-rounded this season.
Carter was the Flyers' leader among regular faceoff men (54.7 percent) and he finished at plus-27.
If Carter stays, the team probably will not sign winger Ville Leino if it is able to sign Bryzgalov.
Holmgren denied rumors that the Flyers are contemplating a deal that would send Carter to Columbus for winger Jakub Voracek and a first-round draft pick.
Over the last two seasons, Bryzgalov has 78 wins, tying Vancouver's Roberto Luongo for the most in the NHL during that span. And the 6-foot-3, 208-pounder has played for a Phoenix team whose defense isn't nearly as strong as the Flyers'.
Off the ice, Bryzgalov speaks fluent English and is an avid reader and an American history buff. He is also a student of hockey history, including the Flyers' - and knows how they have been longing for a marquee goalie.
Even if the Flyers and Bryzgalov agree to a deal, it likely won't be announced until July 1. After July 1, teams can exceed the cap - which is expected to climb from $59.4 million to at least 62.4 million after the season - by 10 percent for the summer.
That would give the Flyers more time to sort out which players they want to deal.