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Oilers agree to deal with embattled Bryzgalov
Edmonton, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who has yet to play in the National Hockey League this season.
Bryzgalov, the subject of a massive buyout this summer after the Philadelphia Flyers decided they were better off without the 33-year-old netminder, had signed a professional tryout agreement with Las Vegas of the ECHL while awaiting word from NHL clubs.
Last season, he finished 19-17-3 with a 2.79 goals-against average and one shutout in 40 games for the Flyers, who finished out of playoff contention for the first time since 2007.
He arrived in the Delaware Valley courtesy of a $51 million, 8-year deal consummated during the summer of 2011, and went 33-16-7 with a 2.48 GAA and six shutouts to help the Flyers reach the second round of the 2012 playoffs.
However, perceptions of inconsistent play along with off-ice and locker-room behavior issues contributed to the buyout -- one which saved the current basement dwellers in the Metropolitan Division an estimated $6 million on the salary cap for the remaining six years of the deal.
"We get a goaltender that has a history of being a high performer, and we get a guy that's very motivated," said Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish.
Edmonton, which heads into a Saturday matinee in Philly, sports the worst record in the Western Conference with a 4-11-2 mark.
Starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk has struggled to a 3-6-1 record, 3.80 GAA and .878 save percentage. Backups Richard Bachman and Jason LaBarbera have combined to go 1-5-1 in their nine appearances.
According to reports, Bryzgalov will spend time with the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City for conditioning before joining the club.
11/08 21:52:53 ET