Where will Bryzgalov End Up?

10/18/13 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   109 respect

Two seasons into his nine-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, 33-year-old netminder Ilya Bryzgalov was never comfortable in the orange, white and black jersey and ended up being bought out by the team this past off-season.

That was strike one. Strike two occurred today when Bryzgalov was released from his tryout with the East Coast Hockey League’s (ECHL) Las Vegas Wranglers.

According to ESPN hockey scribe Pierre Lebrun, Bryzgalov and his agent Rich Winter are hoping that he does not strike out. Winter told Lebrun that his client is waiting for the right opportunity and will continue to train until that opportunity comes along.

It is kind of hard to believe that no NHL team has a need for him this season. Yes, Bryzgalov is quirky and yes, he had two tough years in Philadelphia but deep down somewhere in Bryzgalov, there is more than a solid goaltender that can help an NHL club out.

Here are a few teams that might be a good fit for the Russian masked man:

Calgary Flames
With Miikka Kiprusoff retired and the questionable play of current Flames’ netminders Karri Ramo and Joey McDonald, the Flames might be a good destination for Bryzgalov.

While McDonald is an experienced NHL backup and Ramo has had a lot of success overseas, no one is quite sure how these two will do together down the road. Thus far, both goaltenders have save percentages below .900 and goals against averages (2.99 and 3.69 respectively).

If this suspect goaltending keeps up in Calgary, Flames’ general manager Jay Feaster might want to give Winter a call.

New York Islanders
After making the postseason last year for the first time since the 2006-07 season, it is apparent that the Islanders are more than just an up and coming hockey club.

With that said, their goaltending is not exactly set in stone. Sure, Nabokov is the starting goaltender for the team this season (2-1-2, 2.29 GAA, and a .924 save percentage) and is doing a good job this year but can he do it for the long haul at the age of 38?

The Islanders might be a nice option for Bryzgalov. The team does not get anywhere near the media attention that the New York Rangers do and with Garth Snow at the helm, it could be a chance to show a former professional netminder that he has plenty left in the tank and plenty talent left to be a successful goaltender in this league.

Buffalo Sabres
One might think this is a crazy idea considering how well goaltender Ryan Miller is playing right now.

With that said, it looks more and more like Miller is either going to get traded at the deadline this season or go somewhere else during the off-season as an unrestricted free agent. If that happens, can the team trust Jhonas Enroth to be the man going forward as the team’s goaltender of the future?

Buffalo might just end up being a good fit for Bryzgalov.
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