Report: Negotiations between Bryzgalov, Oilers ‘escalating’

7 Comments

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 ESPN.com.

“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.