Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bryzgalov a Coyote

Phoenix adds another goalie to the pile by winning the Ilya Bryzgalov sweepstakes, as none of the teams ahead of them on waiver priority (Edmonton, Washington and Buffalo) made a claim.
"We are very happy for Ilya," said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. "He's a great kid who deserves a chance to be a starting NHL goaltender. We thank him for all he has accomplished in a Ducks uniform, and we wish him well with Phoenix."
I'd thought that perhaps the Sabres would take look at claiming him, as they have really struggled and haven't had exactly stellar play from backup Jocelyn Thibault in limited action. Buffalo also has more than enough cap room to assume the $1-million remaining on Bryzgalov's salary.

Phoenix now has four NHL-calibre tenders between Bryzgalov, Mikhail Tellqvist, David Aebischer and Alex Auld, although Aebischer is currently playing with San Antonio. Tellqvist has actually played quite well this season, has a 4-3-0 record in seven starts with a 2.80 goals against average and .903 save percentage.

Auld, however, has struggled, allowing four or five goals in his last four complete starts, and he was pulled from Thursday's 6-0 loss to the Sharks after allowing the first three goals. Since Oct. 27, Auld's goals against average is 4.67 in five starts, and he's likely on his way to the waiver wire himself.

“We are excited to bring in a world class goaltender with a Stanley Cup on his resume,” said Coyotes GM Don Maloney. “At 27 years old, he is just entering his prime and we look forward to having him in our lineup.”

UPDATE Some are questioning Burke's move to simply lose an asset for nothing, but with the abundance of NHL-calibre netminders out there, those on the block don't have that high a trade value. Bryzgalov is an unrestricted free agent this July, and could be picked up somewhere as a starter given his history, but at 27 has never been a No. 1.

Bryzgalov's been with the Ducks ever since he was drafted in 2000 out of his hometown team, Tolyatti Lada in Russia, and had reportedly been desperate to get out from behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Bryzgalov has played in just 69 NHL games since arriving in 2001-02, and started only 58, and Burke even went out and acquired undrafted Swiss star Jonas Hiller with a lucrative contract to fill the backup role.

Bryzgalov wasn't staying put, one way or another, and could have turned into a holdout had his request to be moved not been granted.

He'll certainly play more in Phoenix, and it's essentially up to him to try and prove himself as a true No. 1 with a team that's going to be overmatched most nights. Bryzgalov's career numbers are impressive, with a 2.48 GAA and .909 save percentage, so this is a solid move by the rebuilding Coyotes, who now have three soon-to-be UFA netminders. (Tellqvist is under contract for $800,000 for 2008-09.)



At 12:42 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

The Coyotes are one step closer to icing a team consisting entirely of goaltenders.

At 1:55 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Giving up multiple high draft picks plus cap space for Bryzgalov's peer is just looking smarter and smarter...

At 3:00 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger FAUXRUMORS 2 said...

1) Just wondering, who exactly are the "abundance of NHL-calibre netminders out there"??
2) It seems there is a dearth of 'quality' starters available right now, seemingly making a guy like Bryzgalov a wanted man at the trade deadline.
3) Certainly you'd have to think that the Ducks could have recieved something for him? Unless there were other reasons that have yet to come out?

At 4:24 p.m., November 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it legal to dress three goalies, ice all three, plus three skaters, and just stack the goalies in front of the net?
The Coyotes could then tie every game 0-0. 10 SO wins and they'd be in the playoffs. Seriously, could they do it? Even if they only did it for road games, so they bored other teams' fans to death, it might get them to the post-season.

At 5:25 p.m., November 17, 2007, Anonymous vadim sharifijanov said...

i have to say, i like brian burke on this one. he promised bryzgalov minutes, couldn't provide them on the ducks, couldn't trade him for anything (probably not until the trade deadline), so he makes sure bryz goes to a team that can use him. honorable move.

At 5:50 p.m., November 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still can't believe Burke was incapable of landing even a low draft pick for him. It just makes no sense. He isn't even worth a 4th-round pick?

He could have fulfilled his promise and still moved him for a below-market deal. I don't accept that a trade was impossible.

Ferguson looks even more stupid for obtaining Toskala now. Multiple draft picks and Mark Bell - what a horrible ripoff, in this draft year, too. All Ferguson had to do was wait and he could have had Bryzgalov for free - with better stats, a lower salary, and 3 years younger than the back up he DID get.

Way to go, Ferguson.

At 6:40 p.m., November 17, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

>> Is it legal to dress three goalies, ice all three, plus three skaters, and just stack the goalies in front of the net? <<

No. There is a specific rule that decrees a team can only ice one goalie. It was instituted around 1942, I believe. (Strangely, there is no record of anyone trying to ice two or more goalies at once, so it's possible some eagle-eye in the league office noticed the loophole and closed it before someone could exploit it.)

At 7:01 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger leanne said...

No, somebody did try it (in the days before the NHL), and it was a disaster, due to the goalies constantly running into each other in the crease.

At 8:33 p.m., November 17, 2007, Anonymous misterD said...

I still can't believe Burke was incapable of landing even a low draft pick for him. It just makes no sense. He isn't even worth a 4th-round pick?

does it mean Bryzgalov cannot be traded by Phoenix until the end of this season (because of what I heard from my friend about some CBA clauses)?

At 10:08 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger Menzies said...

I'm thinking with Burke's history as a GM, if there was a deal to be made, he likely would have made it. Either he was being blueballed or there's something going on where they needed to move Bryz right away. The salary room that Bryz opens up, though, hardly seems like something you'd need to rush. Def seems strange.

Fauxrumors 2, I can only think of Roloson as a trade deadline move where a goaltender that was not a number 1 went to a new team to take on the number 1 status and really have an impact. I'm not sure Bryz would be valuable trade bait at the deadline, of course holding on to him until then would still have reaped a bigger reward then just watching him walk to a team in your division that has already beaten you twice.

Can anyone think of any other big trade deadline goaltender deals, successful or not?

At 10:14 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger Mike Thompson said...

Why didn't Washington take a flyer on Bryz? Kolzig is only getting older, Johnson is a career backup, and I haven't heard anything about an heir apparent.

At 10:18 p.m., November 17, 2007, Blogger Pete said...

The Leafs would not have been able to get Bryzgalov for free — Phoenix had a higher waiver priority. But they may have been able to get him cheap in a trade.

At 12:32 a.m., November 18, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

Well, a 1-0 win in his first game as a Coyote! That's a darn good start.

At 4:05 p.m., November 18, 2007, Blogger Bruce said...

Can anyone think of any other big trade deadline goaltender deals, successful or not?

Marty Biron.

At 1:42 p.m., November 19, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

As a Leafs fan I was worried when Bell got included in the Toskala deal, but Mark Bell has been a hard hitting gritty forward for the Leafs so far.

Bell was on the ice for two of the Leafs goals against Ottawa Saturday, for example, and Toskala is hitting his stride.

The Leafs gave up two picks in the draft that already happened and a fourth rounder in 2009, not the upcoming draft, by the way.


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