The Bryzgalov era is over in the city of brotherly love. No more talk of the universe, tigers, or space in the depths of Wells Fargo Center as yesterday saw the Flyers part ways with hockey’s most interesting player.
Widely speculated after the acquisition of Mark Streit from the Islanders, Philadelphia opted to buy out the remaining seven years of Bryz’s nine-year $51 million deal leaving them with a nice chunk of cash to distribute over the foreseeable future. The buyout will cost the team $23 million over 14 years, so they’ll be paying him through 2027 with no cap penalty. That’s $1.6 million a year, a considerable amount of money to retire at 33 if Bryz so desired.
With a Men’s gold, an Olympic bronze, and his name on Lord Stanley’s mug, there could be a case made for retirement. Especially with money that makes Alexei Yashin jealous. There is no secret the Tolyatti native has a considerable amount of admiration for former coach Dave Tippett, but a reunion in
the desert Seattle seems unlikely.
Sure there are plenty of teams who need a proven number one starter but the hijinks that follow the almighty Bryz don’t make him as desirable as he might have once been. Despite their woes on the blueline last year, Bryz was not at fault for how bad things really were. His numbers weren’t great but they were far from awful.
Clearly the Flyers origination believes Mark Streit is the missing piece which is pretty comical. Returning to the KHL is a viable option but his last stint didn’t end too well and practically mimicked his time with the Russian media with that in Philadelphia.
The one reason I can’t see him hanging up his skates and going all Scrooge McDuck just yet is the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. Clearly the Russian hockey officials fancy Bryz over say a Vezina winning goalie, and his participation in any league next year is vital if he wants to represent his country on home ice.
If this is truly the last we’ve seen Bryz, it’s been quite a ride.