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Minnesota Wild 2014 free agent analysis: Ilya Bryzgalov

Ilya Bryzgalov became a very valuable trade acquisition during the season for the Minnesota Wild.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have few roster spots with the emergence of their young stars. However, a few players still need to supplement the roster. The Wild enter the offseason with 14 unrestricted free agents and eight restricted free agents.

Here is unrestricted free agent goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

2013-14 Team(s): Edmonton Oilers (NHL), Minnesota Wild (NHL)

2013-14 Statistics: 20 games played, 5-8-5 record, 1 shutout, 622 shots against, .908 save percentage, 3.01 goals against average (Oilers); 12 games played, 7-1-3 record, 3 shutouts, 269 shots against, .911 save percentage, 2.12 goals against average (Wild)

Outlook: The Wild surprised a lot of national experts by sending a fourth round pick to the Oilers for Bryzgalov. Everyone knew the Wild were looking for a goaltender, but Bryzgalov’s name was not mentioned.

The Wild needed a capable backup that could spell Darcy Kuemper for a few games. However, an injury to Kuemper forced Bryzgalov into regular duty. He was very good winning seven of his 11 starts and taking his only regulation loss in the season finale.

He split time with Kuemper in the playoffs, but started six of the team’s seven postseason losses. He did not perform poorly, but in a couple instances did not make a game-winning type of save.

The Wild expect to get Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding and Kuemper back healthy in the fall, which will likely lead to Bryzgalov playing elsewhere next season.

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