NHL notes: Bryzgalov gets vote of confidence

Ilya Bryzgalov, of the Philadelphia Flyers, is seen during an NHL playoff series against the New...

Ilya Bryzgalov, of the Philadelphia Flyers, is seen during an NHL playoff series against the New Jersey Devils. (GETTY)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:22 PM ET

Ilya Bryzgalov, whose gaffe resulted in the goal that eliminated the Philadelphia Flyers, got a vote of confidence Thursday from general manager Paul Holmgren.

"I absolutely think being here a year will help him," Holmgren said in his season-ending address, while admitting he expected more from the goaltender.

Bryzgalov, 31, had an up-and-down season after signing a nine-year, $51-million free-agent deal in the off-season with the Flyers following four starry seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes. He hit the Devils' David Clarkson with a clearing pass that rebounded into his own net for New Jersey's winning goal Tuesday night.

"He had a lot of things to adjust to and adapt to," Holmgren said. "From playing in Philadelphia, the scrutiny of the media in Philadelphia compared with where he came from, the scrutiny of the fans compared with where he came from, different style of play ..."

But Holmgren also took a shot at Bryzgalov's sense of humour and his quirky quotes, saying: "His job is to stop pucks and help us win games. It's not Comedy Central."

JAGR IN A SNIT?

Jaromir Jagr left the impression on locker cleanout day that he would become a free agent this summer rather than sign again with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Two days ago, after the Flyers were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils, Jagr said: "This was the most enjoyable year I've ever had. It's a sad day for me. I want to cry right now."

But Thursday, the 40-year-old forward gave no indication he wanted to return, saying he would have been more productive this season if coach Peter Laviolette had given him more ice time.

"Sometimes I felt I can be better if I played a little more than I played," Jagr said.

The Flyers are hoping defenceman Chris Pronger returns next season from a concussion. The 37-year-old defenceman hasn't played since Nov. 19.

BRIEFLY

Beer distributor Tom Stillman and his group of St. Louis investors were introduced Thursday as the new owners of the Blues. "We see the Blues as an important civic institution, and we know what the Blue Note means to this city and to the best fans in the NHL," Stillman said ... The Anaheim Ducks have given coach Bruce Boudreau a two-year contract extension which runs through the 2014-15 season. He was hired Dec. 1, three days after being fired by the Washington Capitals. "I'm really happy about this, Boudreau said. "I'm convinced we have a great core of players and a bright future, and I'm excited to be a part of it." ... The Minnesota Wild has signed defenceman Clayton Stoner, 27, to a two-year contract extension. Stoner, a third-round draft pick in 2004, had one goal and four assists in 51 games last season for the Wild.

 


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