Flyers shoot down Bryzgalov rumors

Posted: June 23, 2011

LAS VEGAS - The reports sprung from Canada, launched around the world via Twitter, set off quite a commotion yesterday morning - from both Flyers fans and the team's front office.

Former NHL player Nick Kypreos, a reporter from Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, started it all when he tweeted that the Flyers "have an agreement in place for a new long-term deal" with free agent Ilya Bryzgalov.

Kypreos reported that Bryzgalov was looking for something in the neighborhood of a 7-year deal worth $50 million, coming out to an average of $7.15 million per year. "Hockey Night in Canada" reporter Elliotte Friedman tweeted later that he was hearing the same thing.

The Flyers, through a statement from general manager Paul Holmgren, were quick to shoot down the reports.

"Rumors are rumors," Holmgren said. "We are continuing to try and reach an agreement with Ilya, but it is safe to say that we are not close to achieving this."

Without first moving salary, the Flyers cannot sign Bryzgalov, whose exclusive negotiating rights with the team expire July 1, until a new salary-cap number for next season is announced by the NHL, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

The Flyers have been negotiating with Bryzgalov and his agent, Ritch Winter, since they acquired his rights on June 7.

It is safe to say that the Flyers would need to move even more salary to make room for Bryzgalov if they were to sign him to a $7 million deal. Sources have continually pegged Bryzgalov's price somewhere in the range of $5.5 million to $6 million.

Then again, if Bryzgalov's camp is asking for $7 million, it doesn't seem all that far-fetched that such a number would be a deal breaker, especially when you consider chairman Ed Snider's remarks to the Daily News Tuesday.

"I'm confident that we'll be able to work something out," Snider said. "Look, if you don't spend the money, you ain't going to get him. It's really that simple."

Schedule update

While the full 2011-12 schedule is expected to be released today at 2 p.m., we do know the Flyers will open the season in Boston on Oct. 6 at TD Garden for the Bruins' championship banner-raising ceremony.

Pucks and Tux

Surprised Anaheim forward Corey Perry, who led the NHL with 50 goals last season, captured the Hart Trophy as league MVP . . . Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom won his seventh Norris Trophy as top defenseman. His seven are one short of Bobby Orr's record eight . . . Bruins goalie Tim Thomas added to his trophy collection with his second Vezina Trophy as top goaltender. Teammate Zdeno Chara picked up the Mark Messier Leadership Award . . . Not to be outdone, the Canucks' Daniel Sedin took home the Ted Lindsay Award for league MVP, as voted by the players, and Mike Gillis won General Manager of the Year . . . Martin St. Louis repeated as the Lady Byng Trophy winner . . . The Hurricanes' Jeff Skinner, 18, completed his dream rookie season with the Calder Trophy . . . Penguins coach Dan Bylsma won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year for taking the Penguins to the playoffs despite a roster depleted of stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. *

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