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Ilya Bryzgalov's buyout the biggest in NHL history

UPDATE: On Thursday, June 27th, the Lightning bought out Vincent Lecavalier, setting a new bar for the largest buyout in NHL history.


It says a lot about an athlete when an organization is willing to pay top-dollar for their services.

It may say even more when the same organization is willing to pay a pretty penny to ensure that same athlete does not play for the franchise, which is exactly what the Flyers have done with Ilya Bryzgalov.

Just two short seasons after signing the goaltender to a nine-year, $51 million contract, the team made what general manager Paul Holmgren classified as a "very difficult decision" in buying him out.

And in doing so, the Flyers made NHL history.

The team will pay Bryzgalov $23 million over the next 14 years, approximately $1.63 million per season, to free themselves of his services. A pretty hefty price to pay someone to go away.

In fact, Bryzgalov's buyout is the largest in the history of the league, both in terms of length and amount, according to

Previously, the biggest buyout belonged to the New York Islanders, who in 2007 relieved Alexei Yashin of his duties at the price of eight years and $17,632,000.

Interestingly enough, the Flyers' buyout of Danny Briere, which went down last week, comes in at No. 9 on the list of the league's all-time biggest buyouts.

Leave it to the Flyers to make hockey history in such a manner.