Enigmatic goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov told Russia’s Championat.com (link in Russian) that he would rather retire than play in the KHL if he cannot find a job in the NHL this season. Bryzgalov made waves earlier this summer when he announced he wanted to return to the NHL in some role. Bryzgalov cites family as the main motivation for eschewing Russia and the KHL.
Bryzgalov last played for Anaheim in 2014-15, going 1-4 in six games with a 4.19GAA and an .847SV%. He had more respectable numbers the year prior, posting a 2.68GAA and a .909SV% with both Minnesota and Edmonton. The Russian goalie signed a rich nine-year, $51MM contract with Philadelphia in 2011-12 after a stellar year with the then-Phoenix Coyotes, but the Flyers bought his contract one year in after a less-than-stellar performance.
Bryzgalov is now 36 and it seems unlikely that teams will bite as most teams do not need goaltending at this point. He may, however, receive a PTO invite from a team like the Washington Capitals who are losing both starting goalies to the World Cup of Hockey this fall. Bryzgalov should not lose faith, however, as even a 42 year-old Martin Brodeur found an interested party in St. Louis two years ago midseason.