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OKC Barons: Edmonton sends veteran goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to OKC on conditioning assignment

The Stanley Cup winner was signed by the Oilers last week for $2 million. He spent the previous two years as the Philadelphia Flyers' starter.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: November 11, 2013
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“It's definitely not a situation we've encountered here our first three years,” Scott said. “Our guys understand this is part of the process. No matter how all this turns out, we're going to have a pretty good goalie here. Our focus is to play a solid game in front of whoever is net.”

Bolstered by first-round picks such as Jordan Eberle and No. 1 overall picks Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers were projected to be a viable playoff contender this season.

Instead, Edmonton is in last place in the Western Conference, having allowed a league high 75 goals. The Oilers are off to such a rocky start (4-13-2) they could fall out of the playoff race before Christmas.

With No. 1 goaltender Devan Dubnyk in the final year of his contract, the Oilers are expected to split duties between Dubnyk and Bryzgalov the remainder of the season to determine their starter next season.

The most likely scenario is Edmonton will cut Jason LaBarbera, a 33-year-old career NHL backup who signed a one-year $1 million deal. But he could end up in Oklahoma City.

LaBarbera would have to clear waivers to join OKC. When the dust settles, Tyler Bunz, currently on Oklahoma City's roster, most like will return to Edmonton's Double-A affiliate in Bakersfield (Calif.) of the ECHL. Regardless how it shakes out, the Barons other goalie might be an NHL veteran.

“You have to win in the NHL,” Scott said. “We might end up with someone with a lot of experience the next couple of weeks. We'll just take it day to day and see what happens.”


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