After a 24-hour period on waivers, former Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was claimed by Phoenix on Saturday morning.
"We are very happy for Ilya," said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. "He's a great kid who deserves a chance to be a starting NHL goaltender. We thank him for all he has accomplished in a Ducks uniform, and we wish him well with Phoenix."
The Ducks announced that they had placed Bryzgalov on waivers at 9 a.m. Friday morning. He had 24 hours from that point (9 a.m. on Saturday) to clear waivers.
If Bryzgalov had not been claimed by Saturday at 9 a.m., the Ducks would have assigned him to their minor league affiliate in Portland.
Instead, Bryzgalov joins another Pacific Division team in the Coyotes where he will get a chance to play for Coach Wayne Gretzky. Prior to the acquisition of Bryzgalov, the Coyotes were using Alex Auld and Mikael Tellqvist to mind their net.
The 27-year-old Bryzgalov has a 2-3-1 record and a 2.55 goals-against average in nine regular season games this year. He has a career 26-23-7 record with a 2.48 GAA, and a .908 save percentage.
The Ducks announced on Friday morning that they had recalled goaltender Jonas Hiller from the Portland Pirates, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Hiller, 25 (2/12/82), has appeared in two games for Anaheim this season, posting a 1-1-0 record with a 3.03 goals-against average (GAA) and .885 save percentage (SV%). He secured his first NHL win in his NHL debut, stopping 22-of-23 shots in Anaheim’s 4-1 victory over Los Angeles on Sept. 30 in London, England (NHL Premiere). Hiller has also appeared in six contests for Portland, earning a 3-2-1 record with a 2.11 GAA and .929 SV%. The Felben Wellhausen, Switzerland native is currently sixth in the AHL in GAA and tied for sixth in SV%.
Signed as a free agent on May 25, 2007, the 6-2, 196-pound goaltender spent the 2006-07 season with Davos of the Swiss National League. Hiller posted a 28-16-0 record in 44 appearances with a 2.60 GAA. In addition, he helped Davos to both Swiss National League and Spengler Cup championships, while also being voted Best Goalie in the Swiss League. In 141 career Swiss National League appearances, Hiller owned an 80-52-10 record with 16 shutouts and a 2.53 GAA.
Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke talked to the media via conference call Friday morning. Here is a transcript:
On Bryzgalov’s attitude:
“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 said ‘I want out.’ When we signed Hiller during the playoffs, you didn’t hear a word out of Bryz. We gave Giguere the four-year deal with a no-trade clause and you didn’t hear a word out of Bryz. He’s been terrific. "I think organizations need to have reputations for honest answers with their players. And since this player came through for us: he won three playoff rounds in the last two years, he’s a quality person who helped us win, then he deserves to go somewhere else and play. The market has not materialized and I’m keeping my word today.”On goaltending situation in the NHL:
“I think that’s why there are questions. It’s probably hard to believe that this is the best that I can do (waivers). I am puzzled by it. This is a salary cap world. The reluctance to gamble on a guy that might help you or might not for a million dollars is a lot different than it was. But I’ll be shocked if somebody doesn’t claim him."
"Most teams have invested heavily in a number one goalie. I think it’s hard to accept, but to me, we have a strong bond with our players that if we tell them something is going to happen, it happens. At some point, that value is worth more to an organization than trying to drag this out and get a draft pick for a goaltender. Nothing materialized. I did not have one offer that I turned down. We had lot of guys kicking tires, lots of calls on him. I would be surprised if he isn’t claimed but no one stepped up with an offer."
"I thought we had him traded at the draft. I really believed at the draft we had a deal done. The other general manager left the room and went back and talked to his guys and backed off. I really believed at that time we had him moved. I think it’s commentary on lots of things, the quality of goaltending in the league, the salary cap. Had we been able to retain some of his salary in a trade, we probably could have moved him. These are all factors.”
On cap space:
“It’s not why we’re doing it, but it helps. If I drag this out another week, could I get a fourth or a fifth-round pick? If I drag it out another week and Bryz gets hurt, then we can’t do anything for him. These are all factors that went into it. We didn’t sign Jonas Hiller to play in Portland. We believe in Jonas Hiller.”
"We set a deadline. I made an agreement with Don Meehan (Bryzgalov’s agent) and I said this will be the timeframe. We’ll get those two LA games and if I have not been successful in moving him by then, then I’m going to put him on waivers. One of the teams that’s been kicking tires on him, I called them last night and said ‘This is your last chance to get him before he’s available on waivers, so as of tomorrow, you’re at the mercy of standings as the team with the lowest position in the standings has priority in a waiver claim.’ I said ‘As of tomorrow, you’re taking your chances’ and I never even got a call back. This is a team that had expressed interest."
"I’m content and I’ve said to ownership I’m content. I’ve turned over every stone here as far as being able to move him for something and now it’s time to keep our word."