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Ilya Bryzgalov, Flyers agree to 9-year, $51 million deal

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

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On Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia, it was business as usual for Flyers fans. They were awaiting whether or not GM Paul Holmgren would finally get Ilya Bryzgalov's signature on a deal to finally solidify their goaltending, and were eager to see how Friday night's NHL entry draft would play out.

In the span of about two hours -- to paraphrase the great Bob Cole from CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" -- everything was happening.

Out goes Jeff Carter. Out goes Mike Richards; and in comes Bryzgalov, officially.

After the Flyers acquired his rights on June 7, negotiations finally came to an end as Bryzgalov signed a nine-year, $51 million contract running through 2020.

Per TSN's Bob McKenzie, Bryzgalov will make $10 million next season and things decline from there with the final two years of the deal at $2.25 million and $1.25 million.

Here's GM Paul Holmgren on the Bryzgalov's contract:

According to CapGeek, after Thursday's roster makeover, the Flyers have $7.57 million in cap space (after Thursday's official announcement of the ceiling and floor numbers) to spend with 18 players currently under contract and new deals needed for RFAs Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek.

Are more moves on the horizon for Holmgren? And will they get in on the Brad Richards Sweepstakes?

Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said Thursday that Richards would not move his no-movement clause before July 1, thereby killing any potential of a team getting a head start on negotiations.

In the meantime, the Flyers have their man in net and the goaltending excuses can be no more. Bryzgalov's a quality goalie, but if he couldn't deliver in the playoffs playing in Phoenix, will he be able to handle the scrutiny that comes with playing in a city like Philadelphia? The expectations are already in place.

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