–The Hockey News looks at five “hockey trades” that were made during past deadline days. Who can forget the deal between Pittsburgh and Hartford that saw Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings go to the Penguins for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. (The Hockey News)
–Ilya Bryzgalov took part in Sportsnet’s trade deadline coverage and he had a few classic lines when it was all said and done. Sportsnet put together his best 25 moments from yesterday’s appearance. Here’s a sample: “Guys! A question! Is chicken meat? Or is it a bird?” Ahhhh vintage Bryz. (Sportsnet)
–The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes argues that the Flyers should have traded Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek when they had the chance back in 2015. During that summer, they replaced Craig Berube with Dave Hakstol and Hayes says it was the perfect time to get rid of the two faces of the franchise. Now, he suggests it might be too late. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
—Patrick Kane scored his second hat trick in three games, as the Chicago Blackhawks took down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Wednesday night. You can watch the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–Tonight will mark the first time P.K. Subban returns to Montreal since the Canadiens traded him to the Predators over the summer. Unlike most players who seem to be forgotten by their old city after they’re traded away, the people of Montreal still feel a deep connection with Subban. The Preds defenseman has done a lot of great work for the Montreal Children’s Hospital and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. (The Tennessean)
–The Colorado Avalanche may have held on to Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, but that doesn’t mean their trade deadline day was a total failure. Writes Matt Larkin: “If we could all kickstart the perfect rebuild instantly, we would. But the simple truth is Duchene is under contract two more seasons at a $6-millon cap hit and Landeskog four more at a $5.57 million per. Neither player was a rental. Waiting until the summer and, more specifically, draft day to pursue trades shouldn’t hurt Sakic.” (The Hockey News)
–The Chicago Blackhawks made a 13-year-old fan’s dream come true by allowing him to participate in the team’s morning skate. The young fan even got to go in nets while some of his favorite players took shots on him. That’s just awesome. (BarDown)
Ilya Bryzgalov’s Canada – Russia take is the best take
[Bryzgalov] just returned from a local Philadelphia rink on a Tuesday afternoon where he spent a few hours on the ice stopping pucks with his 10-year-old son, Vladislav, also a goaltender.
As he steps outside to chat – the cell reception inside of his house ‘isn’t great’ – it’s immediately clear Bryzgalov is seeking another shot at playing in the NHL.
“When I told my son I was looking to play in the NHL again, his eyes lit up,” said the 35-year-old, who is currently an unrestricted free agent. “He was so excited. Now he’s older and he understands the game more. It would be great if he could watch me play again, maybe to learn some things that can help him.”
Best known for his mammoth nine-year, $51 million deal — one the Flyers used a compliance buyout on, just two years after tabling it — Bryzgalov is pretty far removed from his banner campaigns with the Coyotes, when he emerged as one of the league’s top netminders (finishing second in Vezina voting in ’09-10).
One of the most interesting personalities of recent memory might be at the end of his playing career.
While helping young goalies at a summer camp, Ilya Bryzgalov told HC Lada of the KHL’s official website that he might decide to retire in the next month and a half.
His plan for now is to return to Philadelphia to be with his family. He doesn’t see himself signing with a KHL team, but he didn’t want to rule it out either.
In the end, we could see things play out similarly to how they did last season when he entered the campaign without a contract and wasn’t actively looking for an NHL gig, but ultimately chose to return when the Ducks approached him. Of course, it also wouldn’t be surprising if history didn’t repeat itself given that he posted a 4.19 GAA and .847 save percentage in eight contests with Anaheim. He decided to return to his family after the Ducks sent him to the minors in February.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of what he decides, he will be collecting paychecks from Philadelphia through 2027 due to his buyout in 2013.
If this proves to be the end of his career then he’ll be retiring with a 221-162-54 record, 2.58 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 465 career games with Anaheim, the Coyotes, Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, and Minnesota Wild.
The Russian’s second stint with the Ducks — he began his NHL career with the club in 2001-02 — didn’t go very well. Bryzgalov appeared in just eight games, going 1-4-1 with a .847 save percentage and 4.19 GAA.
It’s still unclear what caused this latest change of heart. Bryzgalov had spent a brief time in Norfolk already this season, appearing in two games during a conditioning stint.
UPDATE: The Ducks have issued a statement explaining the situation…
“At the beginning of the NHL season, I spent all of my time with my wife and my children,” said Bryzgalov. “I drove my son and daughter to their practices and games and enjoyed life. I had no plans to return to the NHL this season until the Ducks reached out to my agent, Ritch Winter. I agreed to return because of my respect for the Ducks organization, the quality of the team they had assembled and my long relationship with Bob Murray and the team. Given the way things have worked out, I have decided to return home to be with my wife and children, who did not move with me to Anaheim. It’s not the way I had hoped things would work out. But when you can return to a family you love, could life be any better?”
“Ilya has handled this difficult situation with class and dignity, and I fully understand and accept his decision,” said Murray.” I have great respect for what he’s accomplished in his career, and specifically what he’s done for our franchise. He made an indelible mark on our club in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs and helped us to a championship. That’s not something our organization and fans will soon forget. We wish him the best of luck in the future no matter what he decides to do.”