Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bryzgalov on waivers: Genius or utter stupidity?

So Brian Burke placed his back-up goalie on waivers, after literally years of waiting for Ilya Bryzgalov to be moved in a deal. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is an always has been the #1 goalie in Anaheim, there's no denying that.

But with the move Burke made yesterday involving Bryzgalov, a few questions arise. Firstly, why did it take him so long to do something with Ilya if it was clear he had no future with the team? Secondly, why would he settle with putting Bryzgalov on waivers?

Public acknowledgment seems to be that Burke played Bryzgalov on waivers in order to get him to play as the #1 goalie he "deserves" to be somewhere else in the NHL as soon as possible. Deals were attempted but nothing panned out.

Specifically, Burke told TSN:

"I'm keeping my word to a player here. Ilya Bryzgalov has won three playoff rounds for us and has played very well. But we've committed ourselves to two other goaltenders in Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Hiller. I told him if I couldn't find a place to play, I would put him on waivers. I gave his agent Don Meehan a time frame, and we're keeping our word to a player. As an organization, we find that to be important. He's a good kid, we know he'll get picked up and he'll play well wherever he goes. He's done his part for us over the last two seasons, and it's time we kept our word."

This strikes me as a little odd because I can think of a handful of teams in the NHL in need of a goaltender without even blinking. Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Phoenix and Atlanta, among other teams, could all use a number one goaltender. Add that to the fact that Bryzgalov has performed fairly well in his career and the fact that he has playoff experience and that he's cheap and a deal seems almost sure-fire, as a team such as Pittsburgh would have a better chance at nabbing Bryzgalov through trade as opposed to the waiver wire, where they sit close to the bottom of the pack compared to other teams in need of a goalie.

So that got me to thinking. Is Brian Burke completely and utterly crazy, or just full of B.S.? No way Bryzgalov is untradable. There must be something more to this story. So I compiled a list of possible answers to these questions. Why was Ilya Bryzgalov put on waivers and not traded?

a) Bryz was a cancer in the locker room and Burke and the other players wanted him out as soon as possible;

b) Strictly a cap move... Neidermayer's coming back, cap works on a daily basis, so every day with a few dollars less against the cap counts;

c) Other teams refused to negotiate with Burke because he's a jackass and outed confidential discussions last year after the trade deadline, publicly bashed another GM in Lowe (no matter what you think of the Penner move), and is an all-round hothead;

d) Burke was continuously low-balled on Bryzgalov and didn't want to be made to look like an idiot trading him for nothing when JFJ, for instance, gave up everything but the kitchen sink to get a glorified back-up goalie in Toskala;

e) There's something about Bryzgalov we don't know (this ties in to choice a) which makes him untradeable;

f) Brian Burke is just simply an idiot.

Take your choice, any of these solutions is plausible, but to say you put him on waivers because you wanted him to get some games under his belt... come on Burkie, we're not stupid, and we know you're supposed to tell it like it is. The way this was handled was just fishy.


The Puck Stops Here said...

I pick b

Eggshmeg said...

Phoenix grabbed him FYI

Ron Guillet said...

Yotes get another goalie lol. It will never end. Bryz will blow them out of the water though.

Max to the House said...

I was thinking option B and I think he is just trying to create a persona for himself and the organization that they truly care about their players. This way he can draw in possible FA's. Nice ploy or huge lie!

Avsfan19 said...

Is Hiller's cap hit bigger than Bryz's?

Professor Prax said...

Jonas Hiller makes 850K but he has over 2 million in performance bonuses.

Whereas Bryzgalov has no performance bonuses.

Granted Hiller won't reach most those bonuses but why take the risk when you have someone who's cap hit is less than his salary?