Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Bryz moves to Phoenix

Love him or hate him, you almost have to respect what Ducks GM Brian Burke did for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Stuck behind J-S Giguere and his freshly inked long-term, no-trade contract, Bryz was never going to get the chance to be a number one in Anaheim. Burke tried to deal him, but as an impending UFA there weren't any teams willing to give up much (or anything as it turns out) for Bryzgalov.

Burke could have held onto Bryz and just not resigned him at the end of the season. A perhaps selfish act but one any GM would do in a heartbeat, cap permitting. Instead he put Byrzgalov on waivers.

Perhaps Burke wanted to do a solid for a likable player or maybe he just wants Jonas Hiller as their backup. We may never know.
“We’re making this move, first and foremost, to give Ilya Bryzgalov a chance to play,” Burke said. “He’s a good guy who’s played well for us, but we’ve committed to the other goaltender.

“I promised Bryz I would find him a place to play. He’s been great. He has not asked for a trade. This whole schematic here is mine. He never came to me and said ‘I want out.’ His agent never did. When we signed Hiller, when we re-signed Jiggy, we never heard a word out of Bryz...

“We’re committed to Jonas Hiller,” Burke said. "We think he’s the real deal. We didn’t sign Jonas Hiller to play in Portland.”

- OC Register

Kinda sounds like when you don't want to insult the mother of your children but you're still leaving her for another woman.

If you think this is about cap space, you're wrong. Yes, Hiller makes $500K less than Bryzgalov, but his hefty $2.35M signing bonus hits the books with his call-up.

So how does Bryz celebrate his new starter status? A 1-0 shutout against the rival Kings, of course. Maybe things are looking up again for Phoenix.

Interesting to note that the Oilers had waiver priority over the Coyotes. How pissed would Burke have been if Kevin Lowe had claimed Bryzgalov?

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