Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has finally decided that the team needs a better goalie.
At first, I was really excited about this. I thought for sure he was going to make a move to pick up Ryan Miller. But yesterday evening, my excitement turned to utter disappointment.
Yesterday the Oilers traded Ladislav Smid and their prospect goaltender Olivier Roy to make room for Ilya Bryzgalov.
The veteran goaltender had been playing for ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers without a contract. The Oilers also acquired forward Roman Horak and goaltending prospect Laurent Brossoit from the Calgary Flames.
Craig MacTavish tried to make the move sound as positive as possible by stating the team was getting a goaltender with a “history of being a high performer in parts of his career.”
That’s really just a nice way of saying that this is a last ditch effort to try and save this season. The Oilers are currently sitting in last place in the league and goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been average at best so far this season.
So I’m glad the Oilers have realised that they needed a more experienced goaltender. But remember, this is Ilya Bryzgalov were talking about. This goaltender’s career has been quite inconsistent over the past few years.
Also, he hasn’t played an NHL game since late April. And he remains the victim of the highest buyout clause for a goaltender ever in the NHL. And there’s no telling what kind of impact Bryzgalov's unique personality will have on the players off the ice either.
But that’s not even what concerns and angers me most about this trade. The thing that angers me is that the team traded a vital part of their defensive core.
Basically they’ve traded huge defensive consistency for goaltending inconsistency. I didn’t believe it to be fair to Smid.
Plus, I believe it would’ve been far better for the Oilers to part ways with a couple of their younger forwards. But what’s done is done.
I really hope that Ilya Bryzgalov will surprise everyone and make the season a little more respectable for the Edmonton Oilers. Overall in his NHL career, Bryzgalov has a .913 save percentage.
So there is potential for success and Ilya Bryzagalov does know what it takes to win games.
And I’m sure he’ll work hard to try and regain his form and composure in the NHL. I can’t wait to see what kind of an impact he’ll have in his first game as an Edmonton Oiler.
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