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Report: Former Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov close to signing in ECHL

Oct 2, 2013, 9:37 PM EDT

It could be that one of the most fascinating characters, sought after sound bites and maligned goalies the National Hockey League has seen in recent years could be on his way to … the East Coast Hockey League.

According to reports, former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is close to signing with Las Vegas in the ECHL.

How the mighty have fallen, if this turns out to be true.

Bryzgalov, who turned 33 years of age this past June, played only two seasons with the Flyers after signing a nine-year, $51 million deal in 2011.

The Flyers used one of their two compliance buyouts on Bryzgalov this summer, ending his often entertaining but frustrating tenure in Philadelphia.

As a member of the Flyers, Bryzgalov won 52 regular season games in 99 games played. He struggled mightily last season, posting a 19-17-3-1 record.

  1. philly4lyfe - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I find this hard to believe. as much money as the flyers paid him to go away, why would he then go play in the echl for peanuts?

    • esracerx46 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      He’s probably playing there for two reasons. To stay in shape and to stay relevant. Once your forgotten about youre pretty much done. Tim Thomas obviously blows a hole in that.But good for him in swallowing his pride. I have a lot of respect for a guy like that.

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:57 AM

        Thomas put together the greatest post season of all time, has two Vezinas and a Conn Smythe.

        Tell me again how the two are comparable.

    • c9castine - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      i think this is pretty much a joke. im a pens fan and i know for a fact that phillys problem never was bryzgalov. two years ago they played just as terrible defense as we did and last year they were just undisciplined and sloppy and lacked leadership. this is almost another conversation altogether, but this team lost its direction when it let go of richards and carter. im not saying richards was an awesome captain he had his downfalls but he was a serious competitor and he embodied something the flyers need.

      bryz will be back in the NHL sooner than later, where he belongs, and hes gonna make philly look stupid, like many other departed goalies have.

    • kingsfan93 - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:14 AM

      HOCKEYFLOW33 – Tim Thomas didn’t put up the greatest post season of all time. Jonathan Quick put up better numbers in 2011-12′.

  2. esracerx46 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    19-17-3-1? I thought it was win-lose-otl? Either way Im absolutely shocked nobody picked him up for cheap. He obviously still wants to play. I know he had his own struggles in the KHL last year. But Arizona? Isles? Jets? Preds? Seriously nobody wants a proven NHL goalie that isnt 35+ or injured? Wow.

    • c9castine - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      agreed man. lot of stupid clubs out there in my opinion. the jets would be an instant playoff contender with bryzgalov. isles might do damage. pred, i dont see why they would other than for a solid backup. arizona seems to like mike smith. how about buffalo signing him for some competition? toronto? reimer and bernier are crap. carolina could use somebody in case ward get injured since he clearly is the only reason they win any games.

      i dont get it.

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

        You obviously have no idea what your talkin about considering more then half your teams you named have viable backups. And the GM’s obviously know alot more about what there doin then you do. Bryz was a cancer in the locker room considering what two outta three teams he played for said about him. He’s a product of his teams defensive system. He’s not horrible but he needs a defensive minded team to rely on way to much. I’d say when your only option is to sign in the ECHL then that’s basically all you need to know about how good he really wasn’t

      • thephillyfanclub - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        hhahahah, wow, have you watched a flyers game in the last 2 seasons, your comment is laughable, the jets would be instant playoff contenders as if they are getting Hasek in his prime, what a joke, Bryzgalov is an idiot in the locker room and an equal idiot if not more so in between the pipes, He’s terrible and there is a reason he isnt playing for an nhl squad

  3. stakex - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    This would be pretty shocking to be honest.

    I mean for all the circus that surrounds him, and all the flack he’s taken over the last couple seasons he didn’t actually play THAT bad with the Flyers. He didn’t live up to his contract by any stretch of the imagination, but when you consider that the Flyers had a terrible defense his stats weren’t terrible. Not good, but not terrible. Considering that there are some really shaky goalies in the NHL right now, I just find it a bit surprising that no team was willing to give him a shot.

  4. ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Get they out of here ! He definetley has a screw loose

    • tuberippin - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:44 PM

  5. ethanmacleod1685 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Get the f out of here ! He definetley has a screw loose

  6. joey4id - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Well! As someone said on TSN, he certainly has a nice chunk of change (23 million buyout) in his pockets to have fun on the strip. After playing as bad as he did for the flyers it wouldn`t be surprising if he does end up in the ECHL. This guy is a basket case so no surprise the NHL teams are staying clear from him. Any team who would take him would have to hire a full time psychologist.

  7. chanceoffleury1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    If this is true then I sort of hope the Pens do get him on their radar. If he’s signing in the ECHL he’s got to be signing for cheap. He’s an iffy starter, but he’d actually be a damn good backup depending on his price tag. Less pressure, less minutes, and on a team like the Pens who seem to always play better D in front of their backup, it could be a win-win for both sides. If Zatkoff flops he could be a viable option. The biggest concern with Bryz in my opinion isn’t his skill level, it’s the fact that his teammates never really had anything good to say about him. That could perhaps be a reflection of him wanting out of the situation so he just didn’t give a s*** and was miserable, but it could also be a reflection of what he is really like as a teammate. Regardless of if he ended up on the Pens or elsewhere with a backup job, I wouldn’t put it past him to say he deserves to be the starter in an interview after the real starter has a bad series or something like that. And that’s the kind of crap that divides lockerrooms and causes drama. And Bryz and drama seem to go together like PB & J……

  8. Bob Stewart - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    “As bad as he played in Philly”

    Are you commenters on crack? He was above .500 in the NHL. In the first 7 or 8 games last year they scored more than 2 goals once. He led the league in games played until they traded for Mason and finally gave him a rest.

    He is out of Philly not due to poor play but because his was way overpaid. If the dude was a journeyman making $1.5 million a year they would have kept him forever.

    I guess perception is reality for people who don’t watch the games.

    (BTW, I was happy to see them get rid of him with that kind of scratch coming his way against the cap. But don’t think it was because he sucked.)

    • kellyb9 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      I agree. I feel like he needed to be a top tier goalie with what he was getting paid. He was good, but nowhere close to what they had invested in him.

      That being said – I’m shocked nobody else picked him up.

    • thephillyfanclub - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Alright Man, I have been watching 82 games a year for the orange and black back before Lindros was on the team, He was awful, lazy lousy late back breaking goals, that “GOOD” not “GREAT” goaltenders do not let up, he is not good enough to play in the NHL and the FLYERS made a huge mistake, I’ll be the first to admit I loved the signing before i saw him play. HE IS NOT GOOD!!! AT ALLL

  9. tlow97 - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    My beer league team could use him. I’ll supply the Karkov if he prefers.

  10. billyhauntswizards - Oct 2, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I feel bad for the guy.

    • joey4id - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      Why? He’s got at least $23 mil in his bank account, he”a healthy and still wants to play hockey. Anyway. His a problem in the dressing room and a marginal backup. Not the type of guy you want as a backup.

  11. chip56 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Plenty of money, no real competition and Las Vegas…not a bad way to spend your final few years in uniform.

  12. shamu1the1whale - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    If he can help out the Pens’ goalie situation and if he can get along with his teammates/really support the team effort, then I’d be ok with him going to Pittsburgh! I have to give the guy credit for trying to play hockey somewhere, even if it seems beneath him, which hopefully shows he’s willing to do anything to play. Maybe that means he’s had a change in his attitude and isn’t so “polarizing” anymore?

  13. proudliberal85392 - Oct 3, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    esracerx46, your point is well-taken, but I must quibble with one point. Not here in Phoenix. We were subjected to Bryz’s act once. We’re just fine with Mike Smith and Thomas Greiss, thank you.

  14. jernster21 - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Bryz is twice the goalie Mike Smith is. I think the pressure of Philly + bad defense lead to his demise. It’s not real hard to believe, a lot of goalies play their best hockey in markets where the expectation isn’t Stanley Cup or bust….Florida (Luongo), Bryz (Phoenix), Pekka Renne (Nashville).

  15. girouxed - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Its really frustrating to be a Flyers fan. Not that im complaining, love my team…. but it pisses me off sometimes.

  16. prosportswashington - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    I would imagine he isn’t hurting for money so I’m surprised a team hasn’t made an offer given that he should come pretty cheap.

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