Could it be another tough summer for the Coyotes to sign free agents? Will Ilya Bryzgalov follow the Coyotes to Winnipeg if they were to move there this summer? Read on for the latest.
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reported Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said he’d rather return to Russia than move to Winnipeg if the Coyotes are moved there in the off-season. Bryzgalov played in Winnipeg once or twice during his AHL days and apparently wasn’t left with a favorable impression, citing the cold winter climate as well as suggesting the city had a lack of entertainment for families besides hockey. Bryzgalov is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reported re-signing new players and adding others in the off-season is a must for the Coyotes, who haven’t found that easy to do in recent years given the salary limitations due to ownership uncertainty. Whether the Coyotes remain in Glendale or move to Winnipeg, McLellan believes ownership resolution will give management the funds and tools it needs to bolster the roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bryzgalov probably won’t bolt for Russia this summer unless he cannot find a lucrative, multi-year deal. His comments however suggest he won’t re-sign with the Coyotes should they relocate to Winnipeg this summer, which would leave the club scrambling to find a suitable replacement. Have to wonder if this could be the start of a potential problem for the Coyotes in luring quality free agents/retaining their best players if they move to Winnipeg? We’ll probably start finding out in just over two months.