Ilya Bryzgalov

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Ilya Bryzgalov
Илья Брызгалов
Ilya Bryzgalov 2011-12-29.JPG
Bryzgalov with the Philadelphia Flyers
Born(1980-06-22) June 22, 1980 (age 34)
Togliatti, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
NHL team
Former teams
Anaheim Ducks
Phoenix Coyotes
Philadelphia Flyers
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
National team Russia
NHL Draft44th overall, 2000
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Playing career1999–present
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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Nikolayevich and the family name is Bryzgalov.
Ilya Bryzgalov
Илья Брызгалов
Ilya Bryzgalov 2011-12-29.JPG
Bryzgalov with the Philadelphia Flyers
Born(1980-06-22) June 22, 1980 (age 34)
Togliatti, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
NHL team
Former teams
Anaheim Ducks
Phoenix Coyotes
Philadelphia Flyers
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
National team Russia
NHL Draft44th overall, 2000
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Playing career1999–present

Ilya Nikolayevich Bryzgalov (Listeni//(Russian: Илья́ Никола́евич Брызга́лов; born June 22, 1980) is a Russian professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently a player for the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, 44th overall, by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

In 2006–07 NHL season, Bryzgalov won the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks. Internationally, he has earned a Bronze Medal with Russia at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and a Silver Medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships. Ilya also competed in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and is a 3-time Olympian. He helped Team Russia as starting goaltender win back to back Gold Medals at the 2009 World Ice Hockey Championships, making them ranked number one in the world. He was also runner-up for the Vezina Trophy and a top 5 finalist for the Hart Trophy in the 2009–10 NHL season.

Playing career[edit]

Early years and Anaheim tenure[edit]

Bryzgalov started his professional career in his native Russia, splitting the 1999–2000 season between Spartak Moscow of the Russian Supreme League (RSL-2) and Lada Togliatti of the Russian Superleague (RSL). Bryzgalov played two seasons with Lada Togliatti, before joining the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, who had drafted him in the second round, 44th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

However, with Jean-Sébastien Giguère and Martin Gerber ahead of him in the club's depth chart, Bryzgalov spent the better part of his first four seasons in North America with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League (AHL). He made his Mighty Ducks debut in 2001–02, playing in his first of two games during that four-season stretch.

Ilya Bryzgalov playing for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.

With the departure of backup Gerber, Bryzgalov took over behind Giguère in 2005–06 season. However, injuries to the Ducks starter[1][2][3] allowed Bryzgalov to play more games than he otherwise would have and he responded to the challenge with a 13–12–1 record with a 2.51 goals against average (GAA) and .910 save percentage. In the subsequent playoffs, Bryzgalov made three starts and one relief appearance for the Ducks in their first-round series against the Calgary Flames. In Game One, he filled in for an injured Giguère, taking a 2–1 overtime loss.[4] He relieved Giguère once more in Game 5 and stopped all 19 shots he faced in a 3–2 loss.[4] He then took over the starting job for Games 6 and 7 of the series, winning 2–1 in Game 6 and recording a shutout in the decisive Game 7. Moving past the Flames, Bryzgalov then recorded 5–0 and 3–0 shutouts in the first two games of the second series against the Colorado Avalanche for three consecutive shutouts. He tied Frank McCool's 1945 playoff record for most consecutive shutouts by a rookie and passed Giguère, who had recorded consecutive shutouts in 2003 for the third longest playoff shutout streak of all time.[5] Despite his success in the first two rounds, Bryzgalov struggled in the semi-finals against the Edmonton Oilers and was eventually replaced by Giguère for the rest of the series as the Ducks were eliminated in five games.

Bryzgalov continued to play backup to Giguere the following season and into the 2007 playoffs. Bryzgalov made comments regarding Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, saying he believed Carlyle has no confidence in him. However, he briefly took over as the starter for the first four games of the Western Conference quarter-finals, winning three games, as Giguère took a leave of absence with personal issues. Bryzgalov came in for relief in the Western Conference finals against the Detroit Red Wings, but remained on the bench as the Ducks went on to defeat the Ottawa Senators in the Finals in five games to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

Phoenix Coyotes[edit]

With the re-signing of Giguère to a four-year contract in the off-season and the acquisition of Jonas Hiller from Switzerland,[6] the Ducks attempted to trade Bryzgalov, but were unable to.[7] General manager Brian Burke claimed he had a deal worked out at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but could not finish it.[6] As a result, on November 16, 2007, Bryzgalov was placed on waivers and claimed by the Phoenix Coyotes the following day on November 17.[8] In his first game with the team that same day, Bryzgalov made 27 saves for his 3rd career shutout in a 1–0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.[9] Phoenix promptly signed him to a three-year contract extension and he went on to record 26 wins in 55 games for the Coyotes as they battled for a playoff spot, establishing himself as the club's starting goaltender.

Bryzgalov again recorded 26 wins for the Coyotes during the 2008–09 NHL season, though the Coyotes did not qualify for the playoffs. But the 2009–10 NHL season would be a different story for Bryzgalov and the Coyotes, who would qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2002 on the back of Bryzgalov's 42 victories. The fourth seeded Coyotes would face-off against the veteran Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Quarter Finals. The series proved to be a see-saw battle that eventually saw Detroit prevail in seven games. Bryzgalov averaged 3.43 goals against per game during the series.

Bryzgalov warming up during the 2007 playoffs.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Coyotes during the 2010–11 NHL season, Bryzgalov's 36 wins helped them to the 6th seed in the Western Conference and a return trip to the playoffs. Once again, the Coyotes faced the Red Wings. Despite Bryzgalov's strong play throughout the regular season, he struggled in the playoff rematch with Detroit, averaging 4.36 goals against per game as the Red Wings swept the Coyotes in four straight games. Set to become an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, the Coyotes did not meet Bryzgalov's asking price for a contract extension. On June 6, 2011, Bryzgalov's negotiation rights were traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for a third-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, forward Matt Clackson, and future considerations.[10] Bryzgalov averaged 33 victories a season the past four seasons with the Coyotes.

Philadelphia Flyers[edit]

During the previous two seasons, the Flyers had lacked a player who consistently filled the starting goaltender position. The duo of Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher were able to help the team to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals in place of the injured starter Ray Emery, but neither goaltender held onto the starting position for an extended period of time. Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was the Flyers starter in the 2010–11 season, but he and Boucher formed another tandem with similar inconsistency,[11] including a dismal playoff for both.

On June 23, 2011, the Flyers signed Bryzgalov to be their new starter, and signed him to a nine-year, $51 million contract. In order to accommodate his contract under the team's salary cap, the Flyers made two high-profile trades an hour before the Bryzgalov signing was first reported, sending Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets (for Jakub Voracek, as well as first- and third-round picks in the 2011 draft) and captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings (for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second-round pick).

On October 27, 2011, following a 9–8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, Bryzgalov commented on his own play: "I have zero confidence in myself right now," he said. He also likened himself to somebody "lost in the woods" and that "If you probably throw a ball instead of the puck, I'm not gonna stop it."[12] However, Bryzgalov would quickly rebound by winning six of his next eight games.

He would become well known for his comments regarding the Universe during the filming of HBO's 24/7 series – "Solar system is so humongous big, right? But if you see, the like, our solar system and our galaxy on the like on the side, you know, like, and we’re so small — you can never see it — our galaxy is like huge, but if you see the big picture, our galaxy (is like a) small tiny like dot in Universe. Like, and I think like, ‘And we have some problems here on the Earth we worry about?’ Compared to like ... nothing. Just ... be happy. Don’t worry, be happy right now."[13] His comments have resulted in some good fun, including how when requesting information about the Universe, Siri instead returns information about Bryzgalov, referring to him as "Mr Universe".[14]

Bryzgalov made news when he said he believed that Sergei Bobrovsky would be the starter for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic: "I have great news and even better news. Okay, great news is I'm not playing, and better news is we have a chance to win the game.... (I'll) make sure I don't forget my thermos with some nice tea and enjoy the bench," he said. Bobrovsky then started the Winter Classic on January 2, 2012, a 3–2 Flyers loss to the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.

Following a 6–4 loss to Pittsburgh on February 18, 2012, Bryzgalov was quoted as saying, "I know I was frustrated in my game today and I know I have to be better and I will continue to work on this, but ... I will try to find peace in my soul to play in this city."

From March 4, 2012 to March 13, 2012, Bryzgalov recorded 4 shutouts and allowed just 2 goals over a five game span. On March 15, 2012, Bryzgalov set the Flyers all-time record for longest shutout streak, in a game against the New York Islanders.

Bryzgalov was named the NHL's First Star of the Month for March 2012.[15]

On May 8, 2012, the Flyers and Bryzgalov recorded a 3–1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, and were eliminated in the second round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. He recorded a 3.46 goals-against-average combined with an 88.7% save percentage during the playoffs.

On March 2, 2013, he won his 200th career game, in a 2–1 win against Ottawa.

On June 25, 2013, Bryzgalov was informed that the Flyers would use a compliance buyout to buy the remaining seven years on his contract.[16]

Las Vegas Wranglers[edit]

On October 2, 2013, Bryzgalov signed a try out contract with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. According to the ECHL website, Bryzgalov was signed as an emergency backup goaltender by the Las Vegas Wranglers on October 17, 2013.[17]

Edmonton Oilers[edit]

On November 8, 2013, Bryzgalov entered a verbal agreement to sign a one year contract with the Edmonton Oilers. He began on a conditioning assignment with the AHL affiliate of Edmonton, the Oklahoma City Barons, but was finally called up to the Oilers on November 17, 2013.[18]

On November 28, 2013, Bryzgalov made his first start of the season with a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators, stopping 33 shots. After coming in a relief role the previous night, Bryzgalov posted his 31st career shutout. Coach Dallas Eakins stated after the game, "And he picked up right where he left off last game. I thought he was solid. He looked big in the net, everything. Check marks right across the page for him." Starting goaltender, Devan Dubnyk, sat in as Bryzgalov's backup for the night. However, Bryzgalov was injured only two games later, temporarily halting his bid to supplant Dubnyk to become the Oilers starter.[19] However, Dubnyk was then traded to the Nashville Predators in January, which made Bryzgalov Edmonton's new starter until he was traded.

Minnesota Wild[edit]

On March 4, 2014, Bryzgalov was dealt to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick.[20] He played well for the Wild down the stretch, posting a 7-1-3 record, and he shared playing time with goaltender Darcy Kuemper in the postseason. The Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche in the first round but lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in round two. Bryzgalov became an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season.

Return to Anaheim[edit]

On December 3, 2014, Bryzgalov signed a tryout contract with the Anaheim Ducks,[21] the team for which he played from 2001 to 2008.

After a successful tryout, the Ducks signed him to a one-year deal reportedly worth $2.88 million on December 9, 2014.[22]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  Russia
Ice hockey
World Championship
Gold2009 Bern
Winter Olympics
Bronze2002 Salt Lake City
World Junior Championships
Silver2000 Umeå

Bryzgalov competed for Russia in the 2000 World Junior Championships in Umeå. He recorded a 0.77 GAA in 4 games to help Russia to a silver medal. Later that year, he was named to the Russia's senior team for the 2000 World Championships, where he played in 4 games, but failed to reach the podium. Two years later, he competed for Russia at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City earning bronze. Playing in a backup position, Bryzgalov did not appear in any games. He played in a more expanded role, however, at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, playing in 240 minutes and recording a 2.34 GAA in 3 games. Bryzgalov received his first international gold medal at the 2009 World Championships, beating Canada in the final.


Ilya and his wife, Yevgeniya have a daughter, Valery and son, Vladislav. The family lived in Yorba Linda during Bryzgalov's tenure with the Ducks. He spent five summers attending college in Russia, where he earned his degree, allowing him to teach and coach in Russian school. He reads books and enjoys studying philosophy. He did not emulate anyone in particular as a young goalie, instead focusing on being the best he could be.[citation needed]

Bryzgalov earned attention after a YouTube video was uploaded in 2011 that contained a clip of a post-game interview from 2006, during Bryzgalov's tenure with the Ducks. He was asked a question regarding then-teammate Chris Pronger's joining the Ducks after a rather controversial departure from the Edmonton Oilers. The clip featured in the YouTube video shows him saying, "It's only-it's only game. Why you have to be mad?" The humor from the video came from Bryzgalov's high-pitched Russian accent. Also additive to the comedy was the video title's spelling of "have" as "heff."[23]

Bryzgalov gained a lot of attention for his appearance in the first episode of 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic in which he famously described the Solar System as "humangous big" while explaining the absurdity of human problems in comparison to the enormousness of the universe. These views are similar to the views expressed by Carl Sagan about the Pale Blue Dot picture.[24]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

1999–00HC Spartak MoscowVL10 — — — —5002102.52 —
1999–00Lada TogliattiRSL14 — — — —7961831.36.930
2000–01Lada TogliattiRSL34 — — — —19926181.84.912
2001–02Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL4520164 —23999942.48.916
2001–02Mighty Ducks of AnaheimNHL1000 —32101.88.917
2002–03Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL5412269 —302014212.82.910
2003–04Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL64272510 —374814562.32.919
2003–04Mighty Ducks of AnaheimNHL1100 —60202.00.929
2004–05Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL361713 —120078742.60.902
2005–06Mighty Ducks of AnaheimNHL311312 —115756612.51.910
2006–07Anaheim DucksNHL27108 —615096212.47.907
2007–08Anaheim DucksNHL923 —14471902.55.909
2007–08Phoenix CoyotesNHL552622 —5316712832.43.921
2008–09Phoenix CoyotesNHL652631 —6376018732.98.906
2009–10Phoenix CoyotesNHL694220 —6408415682.29.920
2010–11Phoenix CoyotesNHL683620 —10406016872.48.921
2011–12Philadelphia FlyersNHL593316 —7341514162.48.909
2012–13CSKA MoscowKHL1265 —06472302.13.913
2012–13Philadelphia FlyersNHL401917 —3229810712.79.900
2013–14Oklahoma City BaronsAHL211 —0119603.03.880
2013–14Edmonton OilersNHL2058 —511355713.01.908
2013–14Minnesota WildNHL1271 —36792432.12.911
NHL totals45722015805326,2211118342.56.913
RSL totals48 — — — —278879111.70 —


2000Lada TogliattiRSL7 — —4071011.47 —
2001Lada TogliattiRSL5 — —249801.93 —
2004Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL9545362713.02.909
2005Cincinnati Mighty DucksAHL7333141302.48.904
2006Mighty Ducks of AnaheimNHL11646591631.46.944
2007Anaheim DucksNHL5312671002.25.922
2010Phoenix CoyotesNHL7344192403.44.906
2011Phoenix CoyotesNHL4042341704.36.879
2012Philadelphia FlyersNHL11566423703.46.887
2014Minnesota WildNHL9364792112.63.885
NHL totals472025270012542.78.905
RSL totals12 — —6561811.65 —


2000RussiaWJC2nd4 — —234310.77.971
2000RussiaWC11th4 — —2181002.75.880
2002RussiaOG3rd0 — — — — — — —



  1. ^ Beacham, Greg (December 27, 2006). "Ducks withstand Giguere's injury to edge Sharks". USA Today. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Jean Sebastien Giguere". USA Today. October 19, 2005. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Giguere Battles Sore Hamstring, Dehydration". Los Angeles Times. November 16, 2005. Retrieved April 8, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Ducks have a solid backup plan". CBC. May 2, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bryzgalov, Ducks record third straight shutout". USA Today. May 7, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "Ducks place Bryzgalov on waivers, recall Hiller". ESPN. November 16, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ Allen, Kevin (June 25, 2007). "Esposito next in line in Pittsburgh". USA Today. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Bryzgalov claimed off waivers". Sporting News. November 17, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Bryzgalov gets shutout in Coyotes debut". The Washington Post. November 17, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Coyotes Trade Bryzgalov's Rights to Flyers for 3rd Round Pick". The Sports Network. June 7, 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers agree on contract". AOL. June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  12. ^ Tim Panaccio (October 27, 2011). "Bryzgalov: 'I'm terrible'". Comcast SportsNet. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Jerry Gaul (February 25, 2013). "Flyer's goalie Ilya Bryzgalov dubbed 'Mr. Universe' by Apple's Siri". Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ Adam Kimelman (April 2, 2012). "Flyers' Bryzgalov earns First Star for March". Retrieved April 3, 2012. Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov missed the team's final two games of the month, but what he did when he was healthy earned him recognition as the NHL's First Star for the month of March... In 13 starts last month, Bryzgalov went 10–2–1 with a 1.43 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and four shutouts. 
  16. ^ Shorr-Parks, Eliot (June 25, 2013). "Ilya Bryzgalov's Flyers career over as team will use compliance buyout". Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Bryzgalov Reaches Agreement With Oilers". November 8, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bryzgalov Shuts Out Predators in First Start for Oilers". The Sports Network. November 28, 2013. Archived from the original on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Oilers send Bryzgalov to Wild for fourth-round draft pick". The Sports Network. March 4, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014 b. Retrieved March 4, 2014.  Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)
  21. ^ "Ilya Bryzgalov gets tryout contract with Anaheim Ducks". USA Today. December 3, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Bryzgalov signs deal with banged-up Ducks". Sportsnet. December 9, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Why you heff to be mad? (Original)". YouTube. December 10, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  24. ^ Greg Wyshynski (December 15, 2011). "Video: HBO 24/7 star Ilya Bryzgalov on the universe, killing tigers". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]