Holmgren: Bryzgalov’s gone

Courtesy of Philly.com

Bad news travels quickly around these parts.

Jumping the gun by roughly 36 hours, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has decided to rid himself of the Cosmonaut once and for all:

“I met with Ilya this morning and informed him that we are going to exercise a compliance buy out of his contract. This was a very difficult business decision to make for us and we want to thank Ilya for his time here and wish him all the best moving forward.”

This announcement comes less than a week since Holmgren lifted the veil on Danny Briere’s precarious contract situation with the club. Now, with the two biggest albatrosses removed from a shrinking salary cap, the race is on.

Bryzgalov’s buyout will cost the Flyers roughly $23 million over 14 years, according to CapGeek, but there will be no cap penalty for the duration. Or so we hope.

No official word on either buyout can be made until roughly late tomorrow night, since the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement dictate that moves can’t be consummated until 48 hours after the completion of the Stanley Cup Finals.

“I think Ilya’s a colorful guy,” Holmgren said to a media assemblage following the announcement. “Does he make dumb comments sometimes and get off on tangents sometimes? Yeah, but I think deep down he’s a good guy and I know he’s a good goalie. That’s what makes this difficult. It was a business decision.”

A subject of controversy ever since his rights were acquired from Phoenix two Junes ago and then signed to a mammoth $51 million deal over eight seasons, Bryzgalov exits Philadelphia having racked up a 52-33-7 record, 2.60 goals-against average and seven shutouts in 99 appearances. He also went for a 5-5 record and 3.46 GAA in 11 playoff starts.

None of which provided an accurate assessment of the man or his talent.