The Las Vegas Wranglers announced Thursday that former NHL All-Star, Vezina Trophy nominee, and Stanley Cup champion Ilya Bryzgalov has signed a professional try-out agreement which allows him to participate in the team’s training camp.
“Having a world-class player like Ilya in camp is a great opportunity for our organization and our players,” said Wranglers Head Coach and General Manager Mike Madill. “Operating independently of an NHL affiliation allows us the freedom to explore these types of opportunities, and we are thrilled to have Ilya here to work with us, and our goaltenders especially. It will be an amazing experience for them.”
“Mike Madill’s passion for the game, his team, and his excitement about training camp were a big part of the reason why I chose to participate in the Wranglers training camp,” said Bryzgalov. “Having missed camp this year, an experience like this is critical for me to be ready for NHL play, and I can’t wait to get on the ice. Everyone’s motivation here is largely driven by an unparalleled passion for the game, and this will offer me a very interesting perspective and be a great opportunity for me to reflect on why I started playing this great game in the first place. It’s going to be something very special, and I expect I will learn as much from this experience as any other I have had in my career.”
“To be clear, I intend to return to the NHL, and to be ready for game action when an NHL opportunity opens up. I intend to work hard while I am here in Las Vegas, and to return the support I have received from my family, the many fans who have reached out to me with words of encouragement, and the Wranglers organization with actions, not words. This is a unique opportunity for me to be an example to my own children, to the young fans who have supported me, to my new teammates, and eventually to the NHL teammates who will come to rely on me again,” said Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov, 33, was the 44th overall pick of the 2000 NHL Draft, taken by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound goalie won the 2007 Stanley Cup with the Ducks, and was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2009-10 with the Phoenix Coyotes. Bryzgalov most recently spent two seasons (2011-13) with the Philadelphia Flyers, and also won a Bronze medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics with Russia.
To allow the team to focus on training camp and season preparation, Bryzgalov prefers not to comment further until the end of Wranglers training camp. For further information, please contact Rachel Wright, Wranglers Media and PR Director, at email@example.com or (702) 768-7561.
The Wranglers open their eleventh season of hockey in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 19.