The Phoenix Coyotes announced Tuesday that they traded the negotiating rights for Ilya Bryzgalov to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Philadelphia's 3rd round choice in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, future considerations and forward Matt Clackson (whose contract will expire June 30, 2011). Bryzgalov becomes a free agent on July 1, 2011.
The trade comes just days after the team signed backup goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a two-year contract. LaBarbera could get a chance to win the starting job next season depending on other moves the team makes.
Russian Bryzgalov is rumored to be seeking a eight to ten year deal worth over $80 million. It's a price that obviously was too steep to pay for a team that is still without an owner. It would be extremely difficult for the other NHL owners who currently control the Coyotes to approve that kind of obligation.
"After several discussions with Ilya and his agent, it became very clear to us that we were not in a position to sign Ilya to a long-term contract," said Coyotes GM Don Maloney in a statement. "We will now focus our efforts on adding another goaltender to our roster for the upcoming season."
Bryzgalov led the Coyotes to the playoffs the past two years but his performance against the Detroit Red Wings were anything but stellar.