Bryzgalov Finds New Home in the MinorsBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
The Wranglers may now be known for something else besides their annual gimmick- they are the new home of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
The Wranglers confirmed today that Bryzgalov has signed a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the team. Bryz was unable to land a PTO with an NHL team during the preseason, though he was close to signing with the Florida Panthers before Tim Thomas beat him to it.
There were also rumors being spread by some reporters (including former CSNPhilly reporter Lisa Hillary) that the Pittsburgh Penguins were considering signing Bryz as a back-up for Marc-Andre Fleury after Tomas Vokoun was sidelined for the next three-to-six months with a blood clot.
I’ll give you a minute to catch your breath.
At this point in his career, Bryzgalov doesn’t need to find employment for financial reasons. Ed Snider has already seen to it that he will be well compensated until he’s well past a mid-life-crisis.
If he wants to continue playing hockey, though, he’s going to have to start back at the bottom to work his way back. He still has the talent to play at an NHL level (whether it’s as a starter of a back-up is another discussion).
His tenure with the Flyers simply raised too many questions about his character. Much of it was blown out of proportion by an overzealous media, but there were enough teammates bristled by his demeanor that he is going to have to prove he can be inserted into another locker room without being a distraction.
Per the Wrangler’s press release:
Bryzgalov: “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. 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. It’s going to be something very special, and I expect I will learn as much from this experience as any other I have had in my career.”
“To be clear, I intend to return to the NHL, and to be ready for game action when an NHL opportunity opens up. 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. This is 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.”
Hopefully a sojourn to the desert will help Bryz stay out of the woods from here on out.
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