Ilya Bryzgalov’s time with the Philadelphia Flyers was filled with controversy, odd moments, and for the Flyers, frustration. He was described as a “costly mistake” by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren after serving just two seasons of his nine-year, $51 million contract.
He was bought out and went unsigned over the summer, but he’s with the Edmonton Oilers now. Through his tumultuous times in Philadelphia, Bryzgalov claims he didn’t doubt himself and he’s not angry. He doesn’t even see this as a second chance for him.
“I never lost my first chance, you know,” he told the Edmonton Journal.
All the same, the 33-year-old goaltender wants to move past that part of his career.
“I am just glad to be back in the NHL, to get this opportunity with the Edmonton organization,” Bryzgalov said.
It helps that his new coach, Dallas Eakins, doesn’t seem terribly concerned over Bryzgalov’s past.
“The main thing was did we (GM Craig MacTavish and the coaches) think he could stop the puck,” Eakins said.
Edmonton will play against Columbus tonight, which would theoretically make for a fun match between Bryzgalov and former teammate Sergei Bobrovsky. In practice though, it sounds like Devan Dubnyk will probably start for Edmonton.