Fruits of labor: Bryzgalov finally signed

The coup de grace of Paul Holmgren’s D-Day blitzkrieg has come to fruition, as the Flyers have signed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to a multi-year contract.

Philadelphia obtained the rights to the 31-year-old from Phoenix two weeks ago
and,  by  dealing both former 2003  first-round picks in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter earlier in the day, the club created enough cap  space to  ink the pending unrestricted free agent to a reported nine-year contract worth $51 million.

The NHL announced earlier in the day that the salary cap for 2011-12 will increase to $64.3 million.
Bryzgalov  made  $4.5 million in  2010-11 for the  Coyotes. He finished with a
36-20-10  mark, 2.48  goals-against average and seven shutouts in 68 games (67
starts).

Acquired off waivers from Anaheim in November 2007, just months after he was a part of the Ducks’ Stanley Cup win, Bryzgalov was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 2010 after going 42-20-6 with eight shutouts and a 2.29 GAA.

Since  breaking  in with  Anaheim during  the 2001-02  season, the Russian has
racked  up a 156-116-35  record, 2.53 GAA and 23 whitewashes in 326 games (312 starts) with Anaheim and Phoenix.

In  27 playoff  tilts,  he  has gone  12-13  with a  2.55  GAA  and .917  save
percentage.

Bryzgalov  also  represented Russia  in  three  Olympics (2002,  2006,  2010),
winning  a  bronze medal in  ’02. He also  took home a  gold medal at the 2009
World Championships and a silver in 2000.