Last time on the chronicles of the world’s most interesting goalie, we saw Ilya Bryzgalov head to Las Vegas for a tryout with the ECHL’s Wranglers. We speculated how the step back for the cup winning goal could still lead to inquiries from NHL and, lo and behold the Edmonton Oilers announced earlier this evening their acquisition of the 33-year-old netminder.
Bryz heads to Edmonton on a one-year-deal worth a reported pro rated $3-million deal and will likely play a few games on the farm in Oklahoma City before making his Oilers debut. With the acquisition, Edmonton has some stability in net with the Togliatti native bringing 200+ wins and 30 shutouts with him. He returns to the conference where he started his career and certainly can’t do worse than he did with Philadelphia.
He becomes just the third ever Russian between the Edmonton pipes after Mikhail Shtalenkov and Nikolai Khabibulin and will likely bring the veteran presence to help the young Russians on the squad in Nail Yakupov and Anton Belov.
Depending how he plays in the next few months there is still time to impress for Russia’s Olympic squad but that could prove difficult as Edmonton ranks 30th with both 65 goals against and a 3.77 goals against average. Regardless if he returns to his best form, it’s good to see Bryzgalov back in the NHL after the debacle in Philly.