Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bryzgalov in Talks with Rangers, Wild and Oilers?

There has been talk that a few teams are interested in, or at least talking with, former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Three teams mentioned in particular, and it makes sense, are the New York Rangers, the Minnesota Wild, and the Edmonton Oilers.

The New York Rangers have struggled to start the season and obviously haven't settled on a firm backup goaltender after putting Martin Biron on waivers and calling up Max Talbot. Adding Bryzgalov would push the team to improve their play and in particular push Lundqvist to perform at his highest level in net. The problem is it would also push Lundqvist's buttons most likely, and affect their ability to sign him to a long-term deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Edmonton Oilers have also struggled mightily on defense with young Evan Dubnyk backstopping them to-date. I think this is probably the best fit for Bryzgalov as a veteran goaltender. I just don't know if he would mesh well with new head coach Dallas Eakins' style. His veteran experience would certainly be of benefit to Dubnyk though.

And the Wild have been bitten by the injury bug. Their starter, in Niklas Backstrom, is recovering from a knee injury. But he is expected back soon. And they also have young Josh Harding in net who has performed well. So I don't think this is a perfect fit for Bryzgalov.

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