Ilya Bryzgalov

Report: Negotiations between Bryzgalov, Oilers ‘escalating’


Things are happening in Edmonton.

Just minutes after shipping longtime defenseman Ladislav Smid to provincial rival Calgary, the Oilers are reportedly in serious negotiations with free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman confirms the two parties had discussions earlier this season, but noted Edmonton “didn’t like” Bryzgalov’s salary demands. It’s possible the Smid deal has changed that line of thinking, as Edmonton freed up $3.5 million in cap space by moving him to the Flames (Smid signed a four-year, $14 million extension with the Oilers last season.)

Bryzgalov, 33, has been without a club this season after Philadelphia bought out the remaining seven years of his nine-year, $51 million deal. He spent a short period of time with ECHL Las Vegas in mid-October before leaving to focus on finding his way back to the NHL.

“Bryz will train at home in [New Jersey] until the right NHL job comes around,” Bryzgalov’s agent Ritch Winter told

“He has turned down one NHL offer recently and will wait until the right opportunity presents itself. There is no rush. He is in great shape and ready to go when the right opportunity arises.”

As a member of the Flyers, Bryzgalov won 52 regular season games in 99 games played. He struggled mightily last season, posting a 19-17-3-1 record.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.