The Edmonton Oilers have signed free agent goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, one of hockey’s more entertaining characters. Despite his professed fear of bears and his association of Edmonton with the North Pole, Bryzgalov has been looking for work since being bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers, just two-years into a nine-year, big money contract. He may be moving to the far north, but he will have signed for a figure well south of the $5.67 MM cap hit he was pulling down in Philly. Early speculation put his pay in the $2 to $2.5 MM range for one year, with this afternoon’s Ladi Smid trade (with Olivier Roy, for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit) opening up space on the payroll.
Bryzgalov is a 33-year-old veteran of 425 NHL games, all but 2 of them since the full season lockout of 2004-05. Playing with decent clubs in Anaheim, Phoenix, and Philadelphia, he has a career save percentage of .913, a goals-against average of 2.55 and a .573 points percentage (whatever that means in the Bettman Point Era). Bryzgalov won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 before being waived the following season as a courtesy by Brian Burke, and picked up at a bargain by Phoenix. He starred with the Desert Dogs for four years, posting a Sv% of .920 or better in three of them. But his numbers went south when he signed that huge deal in the goalie pit known as Philadelphia.
No word on whether Bryzgalov is available to return to the scene of the crime when the Oilers take on Philly tomorrow. With an early start time it seems highly unlikely, but it seems like when things happen around here, they happen fast, so you never know. According to Gene Principe, Bryzgalov is a half-hour away, but the deal has to have its eyes crossed and teas dotted before he can join the team.
http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/1 ... on-oilers/