Ducks place veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers

Ducks place veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers
Ducks goalie Ilya Bryzgalov tries to keep focused on the puck during a game in December. (Adrian Wyld / Associated Press)

The Ducks' deteriorating homecoming experiment with veteran goalie Ilya Bryzgalov reached a new low Sunday when the team placed him on waivers.

Signed from free-agent limbo in December, Bryzgalov, 34, was 1-4-1 in goal and hasn't played since getting replaced by John Gibson during a 6-2 loss at Florida on Feb. 10.


Other NHL teams are free to claim Bryzgalov through 9 a.m. Monday. If he goes unclaimed, the Ducks and the goalie will determine his future, which could involve a demotion to minor league Norfolk (Va.) or the outside possibility of retirement.

The Ducks owe Bryzgalov an estimated $1.9 million this season, and team officials have said privately that he could still be used later, given his experience and the fact the team used three goalies last postseason.

Anaheim reunited with Bryzgalov while Gibson, 21, was sidelined by a late-October groin injury. Bryzgalov, whom the Ducks drafted in 2000, had been a valuable contributor in the 2005-06 playoffs and in the 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship season.

But Bryzgalov surrendered 23 goals on 149 shots — a woeful 4.19 goals-against average and .847 save percentage. With starting goalie Frederik Andersen expected back this week from a head and neck injury, Bryzgalov was deemed expendable. Andersen was hurt when a goal fell on him Feb. 6 at Tampa Bay.

Gibson has started five consecutive games, including wins Friday and Saturday in Calgary and Edmonton, and has kept two of the foes to one goal.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau called Gibson's 26-save showing Saturday in a 2-1 victory over Edmonton "marvelous."

Since the Ducks didn't practice Sunday, Gibson will probably return to goal Monday night at Honda Center against the Detroit Red Wings.

"I would say it'd be safe to say that," Boudreau said, following Saturday's victory. "We just wanted to get continuity with a goaltender. We wanted him to play a lot right now."

Gulls are back

At a lively fan-fest in San Diego on Sunday, the Ducks announced that their newly purchased American Hockey League affiliate, which will move to San Diego next season, will be named the Gulls.

That nickname was used by various other teams that have played inside the San Diego Sports Arena, now known as Valley View Casino Center.

The big 6-0-0

Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano celebrated his 600th consecutive game in the same building he began the streak in his NHL debut Oct. 4, 2007, at Edmonton's Rexall Place.

"Played San Jose, we won, combined for the winning goal," Cogliano remembered.

Only two NHL players have played more consecutive games dating to their debut. All-time ironman Doug Jarvis played in 964 consecutive from 1975-88, and Andy Hebenton appeared in 630 straight from 1955-64.

Can Cogliano break those marks? "We'll see," he said. "That's so ridiculous to think about. I just want to play."

Getting better

They left Anaheim with their defense in disarray, allowing four or more goals in seven of the past 10 games. Now the Ducks return home feeling like they've made some strides.

"To turn things around, I really credit our forwards," defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "They've gone to work grinding. They're impossible to stop when they want to keep the puck down low. It's really changed the complexion of our team."



When: 7 p.m.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.

Etc.: The Red Wings (33-14-10) forced their way to a 7-6 overtime victory in Dallas on Saturday with Justin Abdelkader pushing Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen as a key late goal got through. But Detroit's leading scorer, Henrik Zetterberg, left the game in the second period with an unspecified upper-body injury.

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