Report: Ilya Bryzgalov Won’t Sign With Las Vegas ECHL Team, Will Wait for Opportunity in NHL

ilya-bryzgalov (2)There go the chances of a Siegfried and Bryz show.

Despite raising eyebrows across the league when he signed a tryout contract with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers, Ilya Bryzgalov will not sign a contract to play in their regular season, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports. Bryzgalov had originally signed the tryout contract as a way of staying in shape, but that didn’t stop critics from dreaming of Bryzgalov press conferences before — or after — a night on the Strip.

This isn’t the end of the line for the gregarious goaltender. He intends to play in the NHL again and is only waiting for the right moment.

Bryzgalov’s agent, Ritch Winter, said the goalie plans to “train at home in [New Jersey] until the right NHL job comes around. He has turned down one NHL offer recently and will wait until the right opportunity presents itself.”

That opportunity may come sooner rather than later. The frenzied start to the 2013-14 season has left a few teams with glaring weaknesses at the goaltending position, and the fear of falling behind early on in the campaign may force the hand of a few particular teams.

Edmonton is a young squad looking to take the next step, and while Devan Dubnyk hasn’t been downright horrible, Colorado’s success proves that great offensive talent needs to be balanced by a stable presence in net. Carolina has seen Cam Ward struggle through some lingering injuries and backup Anton Khudobin placed on injured reserve — the Hurricanes may be panicking for a stop-gap before losing their second-place position in the Metropolitan division.

As odd as he can be, Bryzgalov is a perfectly serviceable NHL goaltender, and his chance to play again in the NHL will come. As the season goes on and bubble teams see high GAAs and low save percentages sinking their chances for a playoff berth, Bryz will almost certainly get a call.

Photo via Twitter/@BarDownChase

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