Ducks Send Bryzgalov to AHL for Conditioning


Dec 15, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Edmonton Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (80) blocks a shot against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re an Anaheim Ducks fan, you know a thing or two about homecomings. After last night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, Sergeant First Class Robert Vandenberg Jr. surprised his wife and two children, in what was a moment to remember in sports. Yet this wasn’t the only homecoming for the Ducks.

This past Tuesday, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, 34, signed a one year, $2.88 million contract after a tryout with the team.

Remember that Brzygalov debuted for the Mighty Ducks in the 2001-2002 season after being picked in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft (44th overall), and the Russian net-minder was part of the Mighty Ducks’ cinderella playoff run in 2006, when “Bryz” set an NHL rookie playoff record for his 249:15 shutout streak, with 98 consecutive saves. Bryzgalov also tied an NHL record with three consecutive shutouts in the same playoff year, in the quarterfinals against the Calgary Flames. Bryzgalov went 26-23-0-8, with a 2.48 GAA and .909 SV% in his time with the Ducks, and his stellar play as a back-up to J.S. Giguere during the quarterfinals of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs helped the Ducks clinch their first ever Stanley Cup.

More from Ducks News

So, why the acquisition? The 34 year-old goaltender, who has certainly passed his prime, has played in 457 career NHL games with roles on the Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, and the Minnesota Wild. Yet with the news of Jason Labarbera’s broken hand, which will sideline him for the next two to three weeks, the Ducks will once again need to address the team’s injury issues. As of now, the Ducks’ goalie collection consists of Frederik Andersen, the injured John Gibson, the injured Jason Labarbera, Igor Bobkov, and as of Tuesday, Ilya Bryzgalov.

This acquisition certainly makes the goaltending situation for the injury-stricken Ducks interesting; however, it appears as though Bryzgalov will be a jovial, veteran presence in the locker room as a brief back-up to the excelling goaltender Frederik Andersen. Bryzgalov will be in Norfolk with the AHL affiliate, the Admirals, on a temporary conditioning loan.

FUN FACT OF THE DAY: This hasn’t been the first time the Ducks were in dire need for a goaltender. Recall that earlier this year, Ducks goaltending coach and former NHL goaltender, Dwayne Roloson, 45, dressed as the back-up to Jason Labarbera, and late in the Ducks’ 2012-2013 campaign, the then 42 year-old Rob Laurie of the inline hockey team Anaheim Bullfrogs was signed to an emergency one-day contract as a back-up to Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth after the supposed back-up, Igor Bobkov, was running late from Norfolk due to a flight delay.

For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.