A battle with the Oilers doesn't usually come with many storylines but that all changed in November when Edmonton signed former Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov, who was bought out by the Flyers in June, signed a one-year deal with Edmonton. The Oilers announced Friday that Bryzgalov will start against his former team Saturday night at Rexall Place.
The 33-year-old Russian goaltender was 19-17-3 with a 2.79 GAA and a .900 save percentage last season for Philadelphia. He had seven years left on his contract signed in June 2011 with a cap hit of $5.67 million before being bought out in June. Former Flyer Danny Briere did not exactly give Bryzgalov a ringing endorsement in June when the Flyers exercised their buyout.
Upon his departure from Philadelphia, Bryzgalov's agent Ritch [sic] Winter went on Edmonton radio (ironic, right?) and ripped the Flyers. He said he was surprised the team bought out his client but "it's terrible for goaltenders in Philadelphia." Winter also claimed goaltending coach Jeff Reese had no authority at all - a claim I agreed with until I saw the work he did with Steve Mason.
In HBO's 2010 special on the Broad Street Bullies, teammates said Flyers Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent had a leather obsession, which isn't exactly normal. Goaltenders are a different breed and Bryzgalov was the type of person that made weird people say, "Whoa, that guy IS weird."
In eight games (seven starts) with Edmonton this season, Bryzgalov is 2-4 with a 2.80 GAA and a .915 SV%.
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