(Photo: Pens Through My Lens)
It's been a circus of truths and rumors regarding the Minnesota Wild today. After a couple of reports about the Wild trading or expecting to trade for goalie Martin Brodeur and Jaroslav Halak fell through, the Wild wound up pulling the trigger on a trade for Edmonton goalie Illya Bryzgalov.
The Star Tribune reported that the Oilers are sending Bryzgalov to Minnesota for the Wild's 2014 fourth-round draft pick – a pick they obtained in last year's trade with the Sabres for Jason Pominville.
"Bryzgalov is a quality veteran that adds depth to the goaltending position for our team," Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement.
Bryzgalov will serve as the primary backup to 23-year-old Darcy Kuemper. Niklas Backstrom has been unable to play because of an abdominal strain and Josh Harding has been out with an illness and hasn't played since Dec. 31. Bryzgalov has a career worst 3.01 goals-against average in 20 games this season, but it's only fair to mention that Edmonton has the second worst record in the NHL – so there's not a lot of help in front of him.
Earlier today the New York Daily News reported the Wild and Devils had agreed to a deal that would send Brodeur, a cinch first-ballot Hall of Famer, to the Wild. That report was quickly deemed false by beat reporters throughout the NHL.
A short time later the New York Post cited a source with knowledge that Minnesota "expected" to land Halak in a trade with Buffalo.
The 33-year-old Bryzgalov has a career record of 213-157-50 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Prior to suiting up for the Oilers this season, Bryzgalov spent time in Philadelphia, Phoenix and Anaheim. He was the No. 1 goalie with the Flyers and Coyotes.
The NHL trade deadline is 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Bryzgalov is quite the character. During his time with the Flyers he spent some time on HBO's "24/7" explaining his fascination with Russian booze and the universe.