Flyers to buy out goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
The Flyers have decided to use their second and final compliance buyout of the offseason on goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
"I met with Ilya this morning and informed him that we are going to exercise a compliance buy out of his contract," general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement issued by the team. "This was a very difficult business decision to make for us, and we want to thank Ilya for his time here and wish him all the best moving forward."
The buyout has not officially taken place yet. The NHL's window to make buyouts official opens 48 hours after the end of the Stanley Cup final, at 11 p.m. Wednesday night.
Bryzgalov was acquired two years ago in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Flyers agreed to pay his nine-year, $51 million contract. As noted by Frank Seravailli of the Daily News, Bryzgalov made $10 in the 2011-12 season and $6.5 million in 2012-13.
Is exercising a compliance buy out of Ilya Bryzgalov's contract the right move for the Flyers?
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The 33-year-old Russian was ranked a lowly 48th in the NHL in save percentage this past season among goalies with at least 10 games played.
Now the Flyers are on the hook for all of the remaining money due to Bryzgalov over double the remaining length of time. That adds up to $23 million and 14 years.
On the plus side, they have $4.2 million in salary cap space. That number will increase to $9.1 million when Chris Pronger is placed on the long term injured reserve list.
When asked for a reaction from the Inquirer's Sam Carchidi, Bryzgalov didn't say much. He offered "congratulations" to the media, and added, "I don't want to talk to you guys."
As for where the Flyers turn next, they could look to bring back Ray Emery. They tried to trade for Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, but were beaten to the deal by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Right now, Steve Mason is the only goalie on the Flyers' roster.