Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks announced Thursday that goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will return to his family home and not play for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
Bryzgalov joined the Ducks on Dec. 9 with the team dealing with injuries at the goaltender position, but the 13-year veteran hasn't played since Feb. 10 with rookie John Gibson having returned from a groin ailment.
The 34-year-old went 1-4-1 with a 4.19 goals against average and an .847 save percentage over eight games in his second tour of duty with the Ducks. Bryzgalov entered the NHL with Anaheim in 2001 and spent five seasons with Anaheim, including the team's Stanley Cup campaign of 2006-07.
"At the beginning of the NHL season, I spent all of my time with my wife and my children. I drove my son and daughter to their practices and games and enjoyed life," Bryzgalov said in a statement. "I had no plans to return to the NHL this season until the Ducks reached out to my agent, Ritch Winter. I agreed to return because of my respect for the Ducks organization, the quality of the team they had assembled and my long relationship with (general manager) Bob Murray and the team.
"Given the way things have worked out, I have decided to return home to be with my wife and children, who did not move with me to Anaheim. It's not the way I had hoped things would work out. But when you can return to a family you love, could life be any better?"
Bryzgalov also began the 2013-14 season out of the NHL before signing with Edmonton in November. He was later traded by the Oilers to Minnesota, starting eight of the Wild's 13 games in last year's Western Conference playoffs.
"Ilya has handled this difficult situation with class and dignity, and I fully understand and accept his decision," said Murray. "I have great respect for what he's accomplished in his career, and specifically what he's done for our franchise. He made an indelible mark on our club in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs and helped us to a championship. That's not something our organization and fans will soon forget. We wish him the best of luck in the future no matter what he decides to do."