Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bryz hopes Vegas is last stop before NHL return

Our old pal, Ilya Bryzgalov, is back in hockey.

Bryz hopes Vegas is last stop before NHL return

Former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA/Martti Kainulainen)
Former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA/Martti Kainulainen)

Our old pal, Ilya Bryzgalov, is back in hockey.

The former Flyers goalie has agreed to a tryout contract with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, Steve Whyno of the Canadian Press reported.

Bryzgalov, 33, who was bought out of the last seven years of his Flyers deal - he will be paid $23 million - hopes to stay sharp and join an NHL team.

He did not return calls from The Inquirer, but he told the Wranglers he was excited for a "great opportunity."

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“...Having missed camp this year, an experience like this is critical for me to be ready for NHL play, and I can’t wait to get on the ice," he said. "Everyone’s motivation here is largely driven by an unparalleled passion for the game, and this will offer me a very interesting perspective and be a great opportunity for me to reflect on why I started playing this great game in the first place."

    There had been rumors that Pittsburgh was interested in Bryzgalov as a backup, but no offers have materialized.

   “To be clear, I intend to return to the NHL, and to be ready for game action when an NHL opportunity opens up," he said. "I intend to work hard while I am here in Las Vegas, and to return the support I have received from my family, the many fans who have reached out to me with words of encouragement, and the Wranglers organization with actions, not words."

   Bryzgalov said it was a "unique opportunity for me to be an example to my own children, to the young fans who have supported me, to my new teammates, and eventually to the NHL teammates who will come to rely on me again."


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