Note to Craig MacTavish: Run From Ilya Bryzgalov


When Rich Winters relayed the message to Bob Stauffer that his client Ilya Bryzgalov would consider signing in Edmonton, every Oilers fan in the world had to shudder at the thought of seeing him dawn the copper and blue.

Call it creative media or a desperate plea to drum up interest for his client, either way the thought of Brygalov being scooped and signed by the Edmonton Oilers this summer is down right horrifying.  So Craig MacTavish, if you’re reading this, please, please, please run as far away as possible from Ilya Bryzgalov this summer.

If you see it’s Rich Winter calling, don’t even think about picking up the phone.  You’re a busy man and surely calls get missed all the time.  If not, well this is one that must be passed on.

Winters admitted that Byrzgalov would hate the Edmonton climate during the winter months. Perfect.  All the more reason not to sign him now that he’s been bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers.  He’ll just end up complaining about the snow and the cold and then for some inexplicable reason it’ll be tied to his lousy performance on the ice where he lets in another soft goal, or five.

If there are any Oilers fans that think Bryzgalov would be a solution to the Oilers question marks in goal, please reconsider your train of thought and read on.

Two straight seasons with a save percentage just over .900 is as much as you need to know.  Forget about the winning records that he’s produced in four straight seasons.  His GAA is under 3.00 you might say.  Sure, but know that it’s been on the rise since the 2009-10 season when he was still with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Does he have talent?  Absolutely and lots of it.  Just ask the Coyotes how good Bryzgalov was when he recorded 42 wins and 8 shutouts in the 09-10 campaign that helped sky rocket his trade value.

The 33-year old is clearly in need of a change of scenery after two short but highly entertaining years in Philadelphia.  But Edmonton cannot be that fresh start that he needs no matter how much Bryzgalov is  intrigued by the “energy” that surrounds the Oilers.

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal did a great job of highlighting the general reaction on Twitter when this story first broke.  Mainly negative, Oilers fans don’t care if Bryzgalov would bring a colorful element to the hockey club or that his career save percentage is .913.  He proved his worth while playing for the Flyers and now the fans of the Oilers want nothing to do with him.  The last thing this young group of emerging stars need is a distraction the size of Texas and that is precisely what Bryzgalov brings.

How many times throughout the lockout shortened season did he make headlines for his off-ice antics or comments to the media?  Far too many, making him a threat to poison the room and not to mention the liability he brings to the ice.

Let’s hope that MacTavish and his posse feel the same way.  Run Mac-T, run far away from Ilya Bryzgalov.

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