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Bryzgalov signs long-term deal with Flyers

Thursday, 06.23.2011 / 5:11 PM / News

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Bryzgalov signs long-term deal with Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers' busy Thursday continued when they signed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to a contract reportedly worth $51 million over nine years, not long after trading centers Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.

The Flyers acquired the rights to negotiate exclusively with the 31-year-old goaltender from the Phoenix Coyotes last week, and they made sure they signed Bryzgalov before the free-agent signing period began July 1. Bryzgalov averaged 33 victories a season the past four seasons with the Coyotes.

About an hour before the Bryzgalov signing was first reported, the Flyers traded Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jakub Voracek and a first- and third-round pick in the 2011 draft and Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick. The Flyers were close to the salary cap ceiling, and those two blockbuster trades gave the Flyers the necessary money to lock up Bryzgalov.

During the past two seasons, the Flyers have lacked a bona fide No. 1 goaltender. The duo of Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher found enough magic to push the Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, but rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and Boucher could only help the Flyers to the second round this season. Leighton made one start during the 2011 playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres.

Bryzgalov has reached the second round of the playoffs as a starting goaltender only once, in 2006 with the Anaheim Ducks. He was the team's backup when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007.

Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6