Fantasy Impact: The Edmonton Oilers have signed unrestricted free agent Ilya Bryzgalov to a one-year deal. The team also traded defenseman Ladislav Smid to Calgary for forward Roman Horak (swapping minor-league goaltenders Olivier Roy for Laurent Brossoit in the process).
The Oilers get: A starting goaltender who flourishes under a strong defense-first coaching system, but is dreadful under more wide-open systems. I don’t think Bryzgalov will last long as a No.1, but yet the signing is a good one – because it will push Devan Dubnyk. After Dubnyk loses his hold on the No.1 job, watch him perform well in spot starts, eventually getting the No.1 job back by March. From a fantasy standpoint, neither goaltender will give strong, steady numbers because the starts will be split – with Bryzgalov getting more of them early on, while Dubnyk has them later in the campaign. Look for Bryzgalov to get his first start in an Oilers uniform November 19 against Columbus or November 21 against Florida.
As for the motivation on the Smid trade, it’s obviously cap space, but why to Calgary and why for that return? Hot for Horak? I don’t think so. I think Oilers scouts see something in Brossoit that they like. Remember – Brossoit played the last three-plus years in Edmonton (WHL), so scouts had plenty of exposure to him. GM Craig MacTavish understands that one of Edmonton’s weaknesses is goaltending and I’m sure he and the scouting staff believe that Brossoit has a better shot at making the NHL than Roy does.
With this trade, Brossoit assumes “Golden Boy” status. The team gave up a valuable asset to get him, which means that he will have every opportunity to succeed – more than what you typical goalie prospect gets.
Fantasy Players Impacted: What little fantasy value Horak had is now gone. He’s in tough to make the Edmonton lineup when they already have several players of his skill set – but better. Dubnyk’s starts will take a huge hit, but the quality of his game will rise so when he does play he’ll no longer hurt you as badly.
As already noted, Brossoit is now a “Golden Boy” if you are in a league that adds goalies three years before they make the NHL, then Brossoit should be at or near the top of your list.
Fantasy Players these moves help, in order
1. Bryzgalov (D’uh)
Fantasy Players these moves hurt, in order
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