Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has signed a one-year contract with his former team, the Anaheim Ducks. Bryzgalov, whose lively personality is well-known throughout the NHL and NHL fanbase, has a long history with Anaheim. He won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 as the backup goaltender, and was actually drafted by Anaheim in the 2nd round of the 2000 NHL entry draft.
Bryzgalov has not seen any ice time this season. According the NHL website, he will join the Ducks’ AHL team, the Norfolk Admirals in Virginia for a period of time for conditioning. He will likely begin practicing with the Admirals on Wednesday. Although the financial terms of Bryzgalov’s contract have yet to be officially disclosed by the NHL, Orange County Register reporter, Eric Stephens, speculated on Twitter that the 34-year old netminder’s one-year contract is worth $2.88 million.
Bryzgalov has spent his playing career moving around the NHL. He has spent time with the Ducks, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Philadelphia Flyers. The Russian native played last season with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Minnesota Wild. In total, he has played 220 career games with a solid .913 save percentage.
Bryzgalov’s return to the Ducks seems like a good fit for both Anaheim and the Russian goalie who has earned the nickname “Mr. Universe” after making some memorable comments about space in a video from 2011. He will serve as a back-up to current Ducks’ number one Frederik Anderson. All that Anaheim needs from Bryzgalov is to be a solid back-up, ready to come into games and start on short notice. This is a great opportunity for him to continue to play while being a part of an elite team in the NHL, at least for now.