The Ducks announced today that goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will return to his family home in Philadelphia and not play for the remainder of the regular season. Bryzgalov was assigned to Norfolk on Feb. 24 and made the decision after discussing the situation with his family and agent Ritch Winter.
Bryzgalov and Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray made the following comments:
"At the beginning of the NHL season, I spent all of my time with my wife and my children,” said Bryzgalov. “I drove my son and daughter to their practices and games and enjoyed life. I had no plans to return to the NHL this season until the Ducks reached out to my agent, Ritch Winter. I agreed to return because of my respect for the Ducks organization, the quality of the team they had assembled and my long relationship with Bob Murray and the team. Given the way things have worked out, I have decided to return home to be with my wife and children, who did not move with me to Anaheim. It’s not the way I had hoped things would work out. But when you can return to a family you love, could life be any better?"
“Ilya has handled this difficult situation with class and dignity, and I fully understand and accept his decision,” said Murray.” I have great respect for what he’s accomplished in his career, and specifically what he’s done for our franchise. He made an indelible mark on our club in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs and helped us to a championship. That’s not something our organization and fans will soon forget. We wish him the best of luck in the future no matter what he decides to do.”
Bryzgalov, 34 (6/22/80), won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. In the 2006 and 2007 playoffs, he posted a 9-5 record with three shutouts, a 1.68 GAA and .937 SV%. During the 2006 playoffs, he tied an NHL record with three consecutive shutouts, including Game 7 of the Conference Quarterfinals vs. Calgary (continued in Games 1 and 2 of the Conference Semifinals vs. Colorado). Bryzgalov’s shutout streak of 249:15 (98 consecutive saves) was the second-longest in NHL postseason history and longest ever by a rookie.
Selected by Anaheim in the second round (44th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Bryzgalov has played for Anaheim, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Edmonton and Minnesota over his 12-year NHL career. In 465 career NHL games, Bryzgalov has posted a 221-162-54 record with 34 shutouts, a 2.58 GAA and .912 SV%. He was named a finalist for the 2010 Vezina Trophy after setting career highs in win (42), shutouts (8), GAA (2.29) and SV% (.920) with the Coyotes.