Skip to content

Agent: Bryzgalov ‘loved’ Minnesota, really wants to return

Aug 21, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Minnesota Wild reacts to play during a break in the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The Minnesota Wild won 3-2. Getty Images

Even though he knows Minnesota’s goal crease is crowded, Ilya Bryzgalov still wants back with the Wild.

Per the Star-Tribune

“Ilya would very much like to return to the Wild and further the success the team had down the stretch last year,” agent Ritch Winter said. “It was one of the most satisfying experiences he has had in his career.

“Ilya loved his teammates in Minnesota, loved the city and loved and appreciated the support he received from the coaching staff and Wild fans. He would love to be a part of helping this team to enjoy the success they had together last year.

“He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities even if it requires him to compromise somewhat to accommodate the budget issues facing the team if that becomes a possibility.”

Bryzgalov, 34, is currently an unrestricted free agent and the Wild aren’t exactly in the market for a goalie, with Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom already under contract and a new deal being hammered out for RFA Darcy Kuemper.

That said, this latest development could give Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher some added leverage at the negotiating table. There appears to be a significant rift between what the Wild think Kuemper’s worth and what Kuemper’s camp is angling for, something Fletcher alluded to in early August.

“Darcy certainly has great potential and played very well in stretches for us this season, but at the end of the day I think he’s played around 30 games in the NHL,” he told the Star-Tribune. “Usually this isn’t the time to fight for the big contract. We feel Darcy right now is trying to establish himself in the league and once he does that it’ll be a little simpler to come up with terms.”

Fletcher has also stated publicly that “everything’s a go” with Harding and Backstrom health-wise. Harding’s shown improvement from his setback with multiple sclerosis, while Backstrom is apparently recovered from season-ending core muscle surgery he underwent in March.

All of this could put the squeeze on Kuemper… or, it could possibly open the door for Bryzgalov to return on, say, a two-way deal and be the first call-up should either Harding or Backstrom struggle with their health again.

Bryzgalov actually played OK for the Wild last season, going 7-1-3 with a 2.12 GAA and .911 save percentage in the regular season. After getting yanked as the team’s playoff starter early in the Colorado series, he rebounded to play reasonably well near the end of Wild’s second-round loss to Chicago, posting a .927 save percentage over the final two games.

Latest Posts
  1. Wright signs with Islanders after campaign in KHL

    Jul 2, 2015, 8:56 AM EDT

    James Wright Getty Images

    He was playing with the Winnipeg Jets before heading to Croatia.

  2. Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:43 AM EDT

    st.louis Getty Images

    Some interesting players still need deals.

  3. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  4. Habs sign Barberio to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Mark Barberio Mark Barberio

    The contract pays the 25-year-old $600,000.

  5. Columbus character: Blue Jackets ink Gregory Campbell

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT

    Gregory Campbell AP

    It’s reportedly two-years, $3 million.

  6. Report: Brassard should be ready for training camp after wrist surgery

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard AP

    The Rangers were a banged-up group in the playoffs.

  7. Preds trade goalie Hellberg to Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Was the first netminder taken at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

  8. Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT

    Official Announcement Of Mike Babcock As Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Getty Images

    “We are here to build a team that is capable of winning a Stanley Cup. There are no shortcuts to go around doing that.”

  9. B’s re-sign Spooner: two years, $1.9 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    23-year-old had 18 points in 29 games last year.

  10. Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    Moves on from Washington, the team that drafted him in 2004.

  11. ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Getty Images

    Penguins GM considers his new winger in the same class as Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2427)
  2. D. Hamilton (2398)
  3. C. Talbot (1998)
  4. S. Gagner (1933)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1897)
  1. E. Etem (1742)
  2. A. Niemi (1739)
  3. R. Lehner (1661)
  4. M. Lucic (1589)
  5. C. Pronger (1562)