Anaheim Ducks Sign Ilya Bryzgalov to Tryout, Jason LaBarbera Out With Broken Hand


The Anaheim Ducks made a move in response to another goalie going down by bringing in veteran goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on a tryout. Jason LaBarbera, the temporary backup to Frederik Andersen, broke his hand and is expected to be out two to three weeks.

Bryzgalov, 34, was drafted by the Ducks in the 2nd round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft (44th overall), appearing in 69 regular season contests over six seasons (discounting the 2004-2005 lockout campaign). Bryzgalov was 26-23-0-8 with a 2.48 GAA and .909 SV% in his time with the Ducks, and he won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in the 2006-2007 season as a backup to J.S. Giguere. Bryzgalov also played in 16 playoff games with the Ducks, going 9-5 with a 1.68 GAA and .937 SV%. The then-Phoenix Coyotes claimed Bryzgalov off waivers in November of 2007, and he went 26-22-5 with a 2.43 GAA and .921 SV% in 55 games, which earned him a three-year, $12.75 million contract extension.

Bryzgalov played in 257 regular season games for the Coyotes, going 130-93-27 with a 2.54 GAA and .917 SV%. He also appeared in 11 playoff games, but only went 3-8 with a 3.77 GAA and .896 SV%. His strong play in the desert earned him a nine-year, $51 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, who acquired the netminder’s negotiating rights in a trade with the Coyotes. In 99 regular season games with the Flyers, Bryzgalov went 52-33-10 with a 2.60 GAA and .905 SV%. In 11 playoff games with the Flyers, Bryzgalov went 5-6 with a 3.46 GAA and .887 SV%. After two seasons, the Flyers used one of their two compliance buyouts on Bryzgalov, buying out the remaining seven seasons of his deal. Bryzgalov signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Oilers last season, playing 20 games (5-8-5, 3.01 GAA, .908 SV%) before being traded to the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline. He went 7-1-3 with the Wild, posting a better 2.12 GAA and .911 SV%. He also played nine playoff games last season for the Wild, going 3-6 with a 2.63 GAA and .885 SV%.

LaBarbera injured his hand against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, when he came in relief for Andersen after the Dane allowed five goals on 19 shots. LaBarbera stopped all 15 shots he faced through just under 34 minutes of play. LaBarbera was 2-0-1 in five games with the Ducks, posting a 2.61 GA and .909 SV%. He took the backup job after John Gibson, who was competing with Andersen for the full-time starting netminder job, went down on November 2nd with a groin injury. Gibson was expected to miss six weeks with the injury.

LaBarbera missing two or three weeks should put his return around the time of the five-game Canada road-trip (two weeks from his injury would be December 13th, the second end of a back-to-back against the Oilers and Winnipeg Jets, while three weeks would be December 20th, right after the Ducks finish their five-game trip). Gibson has been out for almost four and a half weeks, and him returning in a week and a half would put him at around the same timetable. The Ducks do not have any back-to-back games until December 12th and 13th on the aforementioned trip, but Andersen has started in 12 consecutive games from November 7th to December 1st.

If Bryzgalov signs a contract with the Ducks, he will give the Ducks a short-term veteran option who can spell Andersen at times: the Ducks called up Igor Bobkov to back-up Andersen for Monday’s contest against the Boston Bruins. However, it creates another roster logjam, putting three starting-caliber goalies (Andersen, Gibson, and Bryzgalov), which would require sending one to the AHL (presumably, along with both LaBarbera and Bobkov).

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.