Former NHL goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is taking his talents to the East Coast Hockey League.
The 'AA' professional league's Las Vegas Wranglers are about to sign the eccentric netminder, according to multiple reports. He has passed a physical and will now try out for the club.
Bryzgalov, 33, last played for the Philadelphia Flyers. His nine-year, $51-million contract, signed in 2011, was bought out this summer.
The NHL’s 29 other teams showed little to no interest in Bryzgalov when his ties were cut with Philadelphia. Now it appears the Russian keeper will have to go through the ECHL if he wants to play in the world’s top league again.
Bryzgalov made headlines during the 2011-12 season when the Flyers were being filmed by HBO for its popular "24/7" series. A unique personality, he became a focal point of the show's narrative, providing odd insight about topics like astronomy.
In last year's lockout-shortened season, Bryzgalov posted a 5-6 record and .887 save percentage in 11 games.
WATCH: BRYZGALOV TALKS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE
PATRICK ROY FINED $10K
Patrick Roy has ducked a suspension but faces a fine for his late-game antics Wednesday night.
The NHL fined Roy $10,000 Thursday for flipping out on Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau at the end of Colorado Avalanche's 6-1 victory.
“Roy's actions at the conclusion of the game were irresponsible,” NHL senior executive vice-president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said. “One of the responsibilities of an NHL coach is to help diffuse volatile situations on the bench.”
As the first game of his NHL coaching career was winding down, Roy got into a shouting match with Boudreau. The disagreement escalated and Roy began violently rocking the glass separating the two squads.
The whole coach versus coach altercation began because, as Boudreau put it, Roy was “yapping at players.”
Unsurprisingly, Boudreau was not impressed with the rookie bench boss' temper tantrum: “I told him that's bush league.”
Roy fired back Thursday, denying his counterpart's claims.
“What Boudreau said was all lies. I don't talk to players, I respect all the players.”
Colorado and Anaheim don't face off again until March 14.
THORNTON LIKELY TO RE-SIGN: AGENT
As it stands now, it appears Joe Thornton is leaning towards re-signing with the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks captain’s brother John Thornton, who doubles as his agent, said it’s looking like Joe isn’t all that interested in testing the free agency waters next off-season.
“On an open market, he would get large offers,” John told ESPN. “I don’t think that’s what he’s looking for. I still see him being in San Jose after this year.”
Joe, a 34-year-old six-time all-star and one of the finest playmakers in the game over the past 15 years, is currently on a three-year deal with the Sharks. The contract, which comes in at a $7 million cap hit, expires at season’s end.
In 1,125 career NHL games, Joe has recorded 1,118 points while wearing the Boston Bruins and Sharks uniforms.
WILD RE-UP POMINVILLE
Forward Jason Pominville signed a five-year contract extension with the Minnesota Wild Thursday.
Pominville makes $5.3 million in 2013 and will earn $28 million during the five-year extension. The new deal kicks in next season.
“If something was going to get done, we had preferred it get done before the season,” Pominville told reporters following the deal’s announcement. “That way it's not a distraction for me. Now I can just focus on going out there and playing hockey and not worrying about contract talk during the season.”
The 30-year-old, who has two 30-plus goal seasons to his name, played in 10 regular-season games with Minnesota last season as a trade-deadline acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres.
In 588 career NHL games, Pominville has amassed 189 goals and 465 points.
STEEN MOST UNDERRATED: PLAYERS’ POLL
A new ESPN players’ poll suggests St. Louis Blues forward Alex Steen is the most underrated player in the NHL.
Steen received 13.3% of votes cast by his peers in the underrated category, with Washington Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom and crafty Detroit Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk tying for second with 10% each.
As for overrated players, the participants felt Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf (13.3%) deserves top billing. Henrik Lundqvist (6.7%) and Carl Hagelin (3.3%), both of the New York Rangers, round out the top three.
Others considered to be at the top of their class include Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke (dirtiest player), and Pittsburgh Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma (smartest coach).
Also from the poll: 56.7% of players are in favour of NHL expansion. Meanwhile, only 20% believe their teammates are taking PEDs.
Results from the 30-player poll were released Thursday on ESPN.com.
SEIDENBERG EXTENDS WITH BRUINS
The Boston Bruins locked up an important cog of its defence corps, inking Dennis Seidenberg to a contract extension Thursday.
Seidenberg, 33, and the Bruins agreed on a four-year deal. It is worth $16 million and includes a no-trade clause, according to TSN.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner is now a Bruin through the 2017-18 season. Seidenberg has been with the club since 2009, playing a major role on the backend.
The Philadelphia Flyers have sent top forward prospect Scott Laughton back to his junior club, the Oshawa Generals. Laughton, the 20th overall pick at the 2012 NHL draft, was originally slated to start the year with the big club … The Washington Capitals have claimed defenceman Alexander Urbom off waivers. Urbom, 22, was previously with the New Jersey Devils, but was put on waivers Wednesday … Former Vancouver Canucks forward Manny Malhotra has signed a 25-game professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers, the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. Malhotra’s contract with Vancouver expired this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent … Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino has been placed on the disabled list with a cracked rib. Sabres coach Ron Rolston said Thursday Leino is out indefinitely … San Jose Sharks defenceman Brad Stuart has been sidelined with a lower body injury. Stuart, who missed the entire pre-season, missed the team’s regular season opener Thursday … Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Sami Salo was a late scratch from the team’s lineup ahead of Thursday’s matchup versus the Boston Bruins. Salo is said to be nursing an upper body injury.