When it came to adding depth to their group of goaltenders, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher chose Ilya Bryzgalov over other candidates out there for two main reasons: price and flexibility.
That’s based on a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, with Michael Russo reporting Fletcher had discussed Jaroslav Halak – acquired from the St. Louis Blues last Friday – with the Buffalo Sabres.
Fletcher had been talking to Buffalo about Halak, but the price would have been a prospect and/or draft pick. Also, Bryzgalov is much cheaper, so theoretically, this gives Fletcher the opportunity to make more moves by Wednesday’s 2 p.m. trade deadline if he so wants. The Wild can add roughly $3 million in players without giving up salary.
Fletcher acknowledged that was a big part of it. He called Bryzgalov’s cap hit and salary “manageable,” that the Wild wasn’t willing to trade young players or higher picks in this type of situation and this allows him to maybe be more active later today or Wednesday.
The Wild picked up Bryzgalov, the charismatic puck stopper, from the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, the day before the NHL’s trade deadline.
There had been reports swirling that the Wild were actually going to pull off a deal for New Jersey Devils great Martin Brodeur. However, another report from the New York Post suggested the Wild were expected to get Halak instead of Brodeur.