Show of hands, who had Ilya Bryzgalov heading to the ECHL after being cut loose by the Philadelphia Flyers? That’s what I thought. The $23 million man is taking his talents to the desert of Nevada on a tryout basis with the the Las Vegas Wranglers according to the club. Bryz released a statement claiming he plans to go to Vegas since he did not attend an NHL training camp and wants to be ready in case the NHL comes calling.
The Wranglers have confirmed that for now the tryout is only that and have requested not to reach out to the enigmatic goalie until the conclusion of training camp. Naturally this is quite the fall from grace for man whose name is already engraved on the sports most coveted prize and I’m baffled that not one KHL team offered him a gig. Will he actually play in the ECHL if no NHL team reaches out?
The ECHL salary cap is $12,000 a week, Bryzgalov made $385,000 a week in 2011-12 with the Flyers but this move clearly shows that Bryz only wants to return to the ice for the love of the game and obvisouly not money. The 33-year-old wasn’t invited to Russia’s Olympic camp and if he has any chance at all he will need to be playing in a top league. Perhaps the NHL will come knocking and perhaps it won’t but despite not playing his best hockey or playing hockey at all Bryz refuses to go away and maybe that’s not a bad thing after all.